Recap in Crayon: Man Man, Murder by Death at The Highdive3
Murder by Death, Man Man, and Damion Suomi at The Highdive in Champaign on Tuesday, February 19.
I’ve been looking forward to this show for a couple months, now. One glance at Man Man’s tour schedule back in December, and I was already planning my face paint, wardrobe, the whole shebang. At first I thought, “Man Man and Murder by Death is a very strange combination.” But I eventually recognized the potential for absolute rowdiness to be evoked from both bands, one inspiring complete and total chaos through indescribable weird pop-ish tendencies, and the other finding the louder and darker side of Americana-infused drinking songs and murder ballads.
While the concert didn’t meet my expectations with regards to tons of sweaty people pushing and shoving to no end, each band still managed to impress and pull out a few cool tricks. Here are some highlights:
- Florida-based Damion Suomi opened the show with some impressive pick-less strumming and vocals in a surprisingly engaging solo acoustic set.
- Man Man’s very colorful set under black light
- Honus Honus’ (Man Man) mustachioed alien mask and cape
- Man Man’s tendency to bop people on the head with drum sticks
- Man Man’s Wonder Pets confetti, shot into the air during “Haute Tropique”
- The completely chaotic conclusion of Man Man’s set with “Young Einstein on the Beach”
- Murder by Death’s cello mixed to occasionally sound like a trombone (whether this was intentional or not, I was totally baffled)
- Murder by Death’s ability to turn relatively low-key Americana tunes into bigger-than-the-galaxy, heavy-hitting hard rock anthems
- The breakdowns to “You Don’t Miss Twice (When You’re Shaving With a Knife)” and “Brother,” resulting in more audience-induced chaos than was brought forth during Man Man.
- A shout-out from MBD frontman Adam Turla, where he said something along the lines of, “Did you know you have a local publication that’ll give you free pizza if you do an interview?” Afterwards, the band performed a 30-second song called “Pizza Party”
- Two confused-looking bartenders who, for whatever reason, went on stage in the middle of a song and promptly walked back off.