The crowd at Northern Lights was dotted with spiky dyed hair and piercings on Friday. Some were dressed as teddy bears or a cross between Cookie Monster and Sully from Monsters Inc. One man even wore a sparkly silver disco suit with an exposed stomach where he had drawn a large penis in Sharpie. Some of the crowd, such as the parents who had driven their teenagers to their first ever punk-rock show, sipped drinks at the bar and tried to ignore the shenanigans.
Despite a freak snowstorm, there was a fairly packed house for the return of Mindless Self Indulgence, an industrial-punk-rap-electronica band from New York. Their 2012 tour promotes Tighter, the reissued CD/DVD version of the band’s first full-length studio album Tight, with bonus tracks. This is MSI’s first tour in three years.
The night opened with Lunic, a psychedelic electronic group based in New York City, who opened for Moby at LarkFest in 2009. Morningwood, an alternative rock band out of New York, were the second act; lead singer Chantal Claret is married to Jimmy Urine (Euringer), lead singer of MSI. During “Why Do Girls Love Horses?,” Claret brought out a toy horse on a stick named Sir Admiral Clownsy Shovels, which she serenaded. Things got wilder during “Take Off Your Clothes,” when Claret paraded around the crowd letting people grope her chest. One of the bouncers had to give her a piggyback ride back to the stage.
Shortly after Morningwood left the stage, MSI jumped right in, playing “Tornado” to an immediate surge in the crowd. Jimmy Urine sprung to the scene dressed in a tuxedo jacket, a bowtie, and tights with pink underwear over them. Guitarist Steve Righ? went full flower-child with long hair, a full beard, sash and a bandana. “Hello, practice New York,” Urine said. “Welcome to RuPaul’s Drag Race. Let the best woman win.” After this somewhat disconnected comment, the band performed “Mastermind.” Throughout the show, Urine sprinkled in jokes and insults. He talked about MSI being ahead of their time 10 years ago and how now anyone can do the things they used to be shunned for like saying “bitch” or playing dubstep. He also said that the younger generation stole his identity and are getting laid and making money off of things that he used to get shoved in lockers for, including playing 8-bit video games and watching The Avengers and Dr. Who. He also threw in some Pokémon references and cracks about Whitney Houston. I guess it wasn’t too soon for him. The band then played “Stupid MF,” “1989” and “Prescription.”
MSI continued to rage through their set, which included a cover of Method Man’s “Bring the Pain,” when Steve Righ? surfed through the crowd. They also played hits including “Shut Me Up,” “Evening Wear,” “Faggot,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Tight,” “Diabolical” and “Straight to Video.” Toward the end of the set, Urine did a bit where he mocked how rock stars make a big deal about encores by stepping off stage and having the crowd cheer for them. Once all four members returned, they played an encore consisting of “Cocaine” and a “Mastermind” remix.
I hate to say it, but maybe Jimmy Urine was right with some of his mocking banter. It’s 10 years later and this music still sounds good, it still sounds fresh, and MSI are still raging it as hard as ever.