LIVE! Review: Vacationer & Great Good Fine Ok (MHOW 9/17/15)

9/21/2015 tunes4loons 0 Comments

********** GREAT GOOD FINE OK **********

so so SO impressed with the these boys. TBH, we entered their set the tiniest bit late, but we have a legit excuse, I swear! The hipster, BK bar we grabbed drinks at beforehand started projecting a 1980 movie onto their cliche faded-brick walls called "Can't Stop the Music" (told u it was hipster). This is a "film" which  Wikipedia categorizes as a "pseudo-biography*  of disco's Village People" and which the New York Times describes as "[a] movie without any real plot or momentum". And the lead character of the film bore an uncanny resemblance to Caitlyn Jenner. Obviously we had to research this in depth and after abusing our parent's data plan for 25 minutes, we can confirm that the biggest role model of 2015 once fronted a film that received an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes (ironically the same score as what I received on my final Introduction the Microeconomics exam**). So we were late, but we now know much more about 1980's pop-culture, so #worthit.

Entering MHOW mid-GGFO-set, my first reaction was that my hearing would be nonexistent by the end of the show (So. Much. Bass.). And my second reaction was that frontman, Jon Sandler, had personal style 4 days, y'allllll! He had the haircut of Todd from Wedding Crashers but completely pulled off the look. Also he was rocking (pun intended) a knee-length, emerald, sequin jacket (He honestly would have fit into "Can't Stop the Music" purrrrfectly). If I must describe Sandler's fashion in one sentence, I would say he looked like a leprechaun who has left his clan to become a prolific fashion designer (#inagoodway). Like John Galliano meets the Celtics mascot.

*how historically inaccurate a movie needs to be to be "pseudo-biographic" I need to know pronto.

**To be fair, I only answered 26% of the questions, so an 8% isn't half bad is still abysmal #sryMom

Every track GGFO played was just fun and infectious from their first warm synth hit to their last groovy number. I'm actually, 5 days later, still in awe of how Sandler managed to sing the entire set in a flawless falsetto. I can only assume his leprechaun magic helped him to accomplish such an incredible feat. Sandler would hands down be the most desired eunuch in the land if this were 1520 (and if he had no cajones #duh). The only thing that distracted me from Sandler's heavenly, crystalline vocals was the keyboardist, who was playing the synth with what looked like little, green lightsabers.  Maybe it was the vape pen I hit beforehand, but these were the highlight of the show for me (again, pun intended). Of course, the only reason he probably even plays with those is to cater to simple-minded stoners like myself, so thank you for ur consideration, GGFO. If you continue to use those lightsabers in your shows, I will continue to get high and go to them! Sound like a deal??

I was intially disappointed when the keyboardist put down these synth-sabers for a keytar, but never have I ever rocked out that hard to a keytar solo. I don't even care how incredibly nerdy that last sentence sounded, the keytar was a fucking awesome addition. The set lulled a little bit when they brought one guy out (from his parent's basement, I assumed. based on his outfit) to shoot one t-shirt cannon once. Watching one frumpy guy shoot one t-shirt cannon into a crowd of hundreds is, honestly, more anti-climatic than the big confrontational scene in "Can't Stop the Music". But GGFO captured their audience once again with their final two songs which were pure indie-synth-pop PERFECTION. And at the end of the whole set, Sandler, being the superb showman he is, attempted a riveting rocker-jump off the drumkit. So not only did he have enough leprechaun magic to sing in a flawless falsetto the entire time, but he had some left over to gracefully land his show-stopping (literally) move. Lessons I learned from the set: GGFO could and should headline their own show and if you're gonna employ t-shirt cannons, quantity IS better than quality.

********** VACATIONER **********

I loved everything about the effortless vibes than oozed from Vacationer's set. First off, their stage decorations consisted of only a light-up globe and an embroidered, thrift-shop rug. Remove the stench of weed in the air and add 100 items from the dollar store and I could have mistaken my location for my grandmother's basement. But I dug the minimal decor. Feng shui on fleek, as the ancient Chinese would say.

Visually, the lead singer looked like the love-child of Blake from Workaholics and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. Although if I were judging on his dance moves alone, I would say he was the love-child of Snoopy from the Peanuts Gang and Carleton from Fresh Prince. In short, I could have been more deaf than Helen Keller for Vacationer's performance. Kenny Vasoli had that much infectious stage presence. And I was floored by the purity of his voice. For someone who looks like he smokes more weed than Snoop, himself, his voice was velvety and smooth. He just has that perfect pop voice that layers wonderfully over any funky guitar lick or bumping baseline.

Overall, the whole band has a similar sound to Vampire Weekend if Ezra and his band of misfits played surf-rock tunes instead of their usual "play-me-on-the-radio-plz-pLz-PLZ" tracks. They were a little beachy, a little funky and had A LOT of fun on stage. The xylophone was an absolutely amazing addition and, honestly, it's an instrument that more performers should utilize for live performances. It sounds like a robot crying in zero-gravity #weirdbuttrue.

I actually haven't seen a crowd so enthralled throughout an entire set since my mom dragged me to a Jimmy Buffet concert. Besides the occasional snapchat flash*, the crowd was phone-free and fully involved in the performance, singing-along to most of the set. Near the end of their performance, Vasoli even complimented the audience, saying that he was "overwhelmed by great vibes". Fucking ditto, Vacationer. You filled MHOW with great vibes and great music. Not only did you make my night phenomenal, but you made my following morning at work miserable and mundane: the outcome any sublime performer should seek to impose.

*I imagine these flash-photography culprits were using the new snapchat update to make Vacationer vomit rainbows or look 80 years older.... SMH but also my prediction is probably spot-on unfortunately