Trying to explain this show is like trying to explain a weird somewhat of a nightmarish dream. It goes like this, a guy walks into a bar to see a punk band and all of a sudden there was a blood spewing, confetti shooting band with two drummers who sing songs about Robocop and are dressed up like weird borg type robot fairies and then a guy who was captured by a couple of robots and forced to perform in front of a crowd of rowdy drunks who in turn are drinking the blood and slip and sliding all over the floor and there was this one guy who thought it was his duty to be a personal stage monitor holder for a robot playing the drums.
Yup. It was like that, but it actually happened, unless I’m still dreaming.
First up was Minneapolis band New Primals. I was excited to see these guys. I’ve heard so much about them but never crossed paths with them. I’m glad I did. They are everything I personally love in a band. Loud, sporadic, raw and weird. They played a blistering 7 songs and it went by way too fast. No stage banter, not BS. Just straight up punk rock & roll.
MURF!!! This is where the weird awesomeness happened. MURF is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite Twin Cities band going right now. They are loud, they are fast, they are in your face, they are theatric, and they are doing it in the name of Robocop. I mean, what else could you want. Every MURF show is different with changing themes and costumes, so you never know what you get with these dudes. Since this was a Captured! By Robots show, the MURF theme of the night them being billed as Captured! By Robocop and dressed up as what looked like robots but IDK..
Dan is the most energetic frontman, who has unlimited energy it seems, kept the show moving and by moving, I mean he was everywhere in The Entry. From the stage, to the pit to the bleachers in the back, Dan was an erratic explosion where ever he went. While Dan is an exploding ball of energy, the band on stage was an onslaught of sound.
Somehow during the set, a random drunk dude got a hold of the microphone and gave a decent speech that I really don’t remember aside from the point that he made that MURF is a real punk band. This random drunk dude went on to be as entertaining as the bands on the stage. Sometimes he was obnoxious and more times than none, he was making people say WTF and laughing.
The duel drumming from Jeffrey and Ira really shine and can be felt in your chest if you get a little too close. With song titles and lyrical reference taken straight from Robocop, how could you not be into this band. With songs like “I’d Buy That For a Dollar” and “Seize Them” with the rad “Can you fly bobby?” sound clip how could you not love this band. On the latter song, “Seize Them”, Amber from another amazing Minneapolis band Speedweed joined them on stage to scream along. If you are reading this and this would be really weird if you aren’t but somehow you see this sentence, which is just another dose of weirdness, please check out MURF
The next portion of this nightmare is the infamous Captured! By Robots. First things first before we get into the kayfabe of this band, J-Bot is mad. He is pissed off. The whole world and government and everything YOU should be pissed off about, he is pissed off about too, but he has the microphone and a voice with a following. The message from the show was VOTE. Get out there and VOTE. Vote for who YOU believe in and don’t just sit on the dirty couch in your moms basement.
Now on to the tragic events that has happened to J-Bot.
If you didn’t know, J-bot wanted to be in a band and he didn’t really care for people, so J-Bot did the next best thing and create robots as his band members. But that didn’t work out too well for him as he was taken hostage by the robots as they became self-aware and revolted and now they control J-Bot forcing him to tour and perform these monstrous songs.
The robots, DRMBOT 0110 on drums and GTRBOT666 on guitar and bass provide a very fast and loud thrash and grindcoreish music that is totally inhuman, which it is since its robots actually playing. J-Bot is just providing the vocals to the songs. If J-Bot messes up in the least, he hears it from his robot overlords. They berate him and the crowd. From the sounds of it, these robots aren’t really nice robots.
Shackled in chains and still in his slave garb, J-Bot thrashes onstage and off. Similar to Dan from MURF, J-Bot is sporadic and unpredictable on where he is at all times. He could be on stage between the robots screaming, on the stage floor, still screaming, in the fetal position, in the crowd or in the middle of a circle pit, or just hanging on someone in the crowd. What appears to be a rad stage presence is actually a cry for help and to be set free from his imprisonment and us dumb, all about me, crowd members and too self-absorbed to help set him free. Well, that is where my imagination went to during this show.
In the middle of the set there was a challenge put forth by DRMBOT 0110. It was a drum challenge for any mere human to have a drum-off with him. J-Bot scoured the crowd long and hard before he found a worthy opponent. That opponent was Ira Rogers, one of the amazing drummers from MURF. The challenge was simple: DRMBOT 0110 would play a piece and Ira would have to mimic it. J-Bot set up a human worthy drum set in the middle of the crowd that was just trashcans. The challenge went on for about 5 rounds before an excruciating loud and annoying buzzer went off. J-Bot looked worried and ran on stage to stand before DRMBOT 0110 to fully understand what was happening. It appears that Ira has defeated the robot. Knowing that a punishment was coming to him for letting a puny human win the challenge, J-Bot was pissed and picked up the trash can drum set and tossed it back into the trash before hitting the stage once again to end out the set.
Going into a show like this, you have to have an imagination and your tongue planted firmly in your cheek. All the theatrics, all the music, all the stage commanding, all the humor wrapped up into one gigantic ball of a rock show is what art is all about. This was a huge fun night, and everyone was having a blast and participating. No one cared that they were covered in blood. No onc cared that J-Bot was bear hugging them while screaming along to the music. Everyone was there for a good time and a good time was had by all.