Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fischerspooner / Canal Room / May 19, 2005

This performance featured costumes, heavy makeup, video projections, bubbles and confetti. And yet, it didn’t feel over-the-top enough. The first time I saw Fischerspooner, at the Electroclash festival in 2001, they had all of those things plus dancers, an army of light and smoke machine operators, and choreography and stage direction worthy of a Broadway musical. They were also really annoying, starting and stopping every song repeatedly as part of some sort of “hey, let’s expose the artifice of the situation” art-school experiment. I loved the glorious trashiness of the music, but goddamn, after a half-hour of that bullshit, I wanted to assassinate Casey Spooner.

This time, they only pulled the stop/start stunt once, and I was actually glad they did. A minute into a lackluster version of “Emerge,” Casey got all bitchy and stormed off stage, out the club’s back door and onto Canal Street, followed by the rest of the band. (Yes, they’re using a full-on rock band now. No more fake playing and lip-synching, at least as far as I could tell.) Of course, they came back and played the song again, with far more enthusiasm.

The show was fun and theatrical and silly. Casey crowd-surfed and humped various band members. The only annoying thing about it was the backup singer, who unpleasantly reminded me of the snooty girl in A Chorus Line.

As Tom Breihan so eloquently put it here, I just don’t get why everybody hates Fischerspooner. Sure, for them, style is substance, but so what? Their songs are catchy as fuck and they’re fun to look at. What’s wrong with that? Maybe it is all some art school prank. If so, good for them. They fooled me.