Thursday Nights Are For Dancing- Har Mar Superstar and Tickle Torture Sell Out Amsterdam


Nobody likes Thursday’s. Don’t try and lie and say you do, you don’t. Thursday’s are nothing but a tease for Friday. It’s like you are so close to the weekend, but wait, let’s throw one more day in there that’s going to drag on for about 182 hours and then also make it one of the busiest work days of the week. Thankfully, I had something to spruce up my Thursday this week and, after a super weird week with some shit hitting the fan at my day job, that’s exactly what I needed.

As my friend and I walked into the venue, we were greeted with a great mix of music coming from DJ Fundo behind the turntables. The mix of old school Prince (yeah, predictable, I know) and some old Madonna and other mega hits with an extremely high danceability rating really set the mood for what was to come. The crowd was just warming up and, even though it was only the opening DJ set, not even the opening act, the drinks were flowing and people were dancing as then loosened up for the amazing night ahead.

Aaron and the Sea followed DJ Fundo’s set with a DJ set of his own, original music. His music was sexy and fun. The dark room was lit up only by the lazer lights spinning around the room and the constant movement of the disco ball. The music wasn’t as in your face as the acts to come and that gave the sold out crowd a chance to mingle and make new friends. His music had a way of staying in the background just enough for you to have a conversation but you couldn’t ignore what was pumping through the speakers and I loved that. As someone who isn’t a huge fan of DJ’s, I became a huge fan of Aaron and the Sea and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!

The next group to take the stage is one of my favorite locals and a band that demands your attention through their entire set– Tickle Torture. Before I get to their jaw-dropping live show, let me bring up how truly great their music is. After their set, I met with some friends outside and they were saying that they would love this band even without the bizarre live show just because of the sheer talent behind this band. The music is baby-making music from the 21st century and just screams sex. It’s glam-pop meets 80’s pop with a little bit of darkness mixed in all covered in an avalanche of glitter. Okay, maybe that descriptions doesn’t do the amount of talent in this band justice but that’s the best way I can describe their style. Singer Elliott Kozel (aka Uncle Tickle) has a truly amazing voice that will make you stop mid-conversation just to get a better listen. The band behind him, although they seem to get lost in the theatrics of Tickle Torture’s live show, is solid and a seriously talented group of dudes. But, let’s be honest, people tend to be more fascinated by Tickle Torture’s live show than the music.

Uncle Tickle’s actions on stage are notorious. With plenty of nudity, whips, and glitter, it’s definitely an attention grabbing show.  To say it’s sexual would be an understatement. At times, it can almost feel like you stumbled into a basement orgy. With multiple nearly naked women on stage all fawning over Uncle Tickle (who typically strips down to a thong as he did last night), this could be a super awkward thing to watch if it wasn’t Tickle Torture. They somehow make it not awkward and more just a fantasy. It doesn’t matter how shy you are when it comes to naked bodies and whips, as soon as Uncle Tickle comes into the crowd to get everyone dancing, you can’t help but gravitate towards all of the sweaty bodies and join in. I would be lying if I said I didn’t completely give in and get lost in the confetti and glitter swirl of commotion during their set. I would also be lying if I said I didn’t love every. single. second. of it.

Closing out the sold out show at Amsterdam was local legend, Har Mar Superstar. With an attitude full of sass and a voice that’s almost too full of soul for it’s own good, he was a good closing act for the night and a great way to wind down after the excitement of Tickle Torture. Har Mar (born Sean Tillmann from right here in Minnesota) is definitely a legend. If you don’t know who Har Mar Superstar is then you’re doing something wrong but let me at least get an image in your mind. Har Mar is a balding middle aged white guy with a pretruding beer gut who is nothing short of a sexual icon. There, got it? Now, put that image into a pair of tighty whities and you essentially have a Har Mar Superstar.

As I mentioned, his voice is chalk full of soul. Sean has a huge voice that truly matches his larger than life personality. When you add a sold out crowd and his talented backing band, you definitely have a memorable set. The icing on the cake was when Har Mar Superstar opened the set with a brand new song that is due out in a month or so. It had more soul than anything I had heard him put out previously and proved that he is not going anywhere anytime soon and only continues to evolve as a musician.

With six albums out including, my personal favorite, “Best Summer Ever”, that came out last year, this group had more than enough music to keep the crowd entertained and dancing. Sean’s awkward dance moves on stage made the older crowd feel okay about dancing like a fool on the floor and had a smile on everyone’s face. His music may be upbeat but, because of the amount of soul he has behind his voice and the amount of funk coming from the band, the set acted as almost a cool down from the hot and heavy dancing during Tickle Torture’s set.

When the night was done, people lingered around at the bars with new and old friends by their sides as the band members mingled around them. People were smiling as they closed out their tabs and headed towards the door all the while pulling confetti out of their bags and trying to get the glitter off of their clothes.

My car is full of glitter and I’m still finding confetti in my purse– that’s a sign of the best Thursday ever.