Review: the Harvey Girls, Superargo at the Gaslight Tavern

Don't rain...

I'm sure some folks at the Gaslight Tavern hoped for a dry one on Friday night. The patio was still damp from earlier rainfall, as they set-up drums, mics, guitars, projector and other instruments for the show. The audience chilled with sounds from Super Nintendo days... Super Mario Bros. 2, Megaman and other game soundtracks I couldn't identify, but swore I had on the tip of my tongue.

Superargo opened up the night...offering another way to imagine video game melodies. It was a crazy and delightfully glitchy set. Adam Jeffers manned his laptop and opted to leave his glasses off to the side so he could totally rock out on his mad mix of drum beats, electronic beeps and bizarre tales. Of course, Skullface joined Jeffers on rocking out. Skullface used a projector and transparencies to share his hero-myth adventure to the underworld. Apparently death is not enough to keep Superargo and Skullface from making wild music and dance numbers together. You can't leave a Superargo show feeling sad - the music is simply infectious and their performance antics will leave you in stitches.

On Friday night, the Harvey Girls played their last show in Lawrence before heading west for a new adventure. They made a good effort keeping the mood fun and upbeat. They had clever pop melodies infused with keyboard whims, trombone slides and breathy toots from a melodian. Husband and wife duo, Hiram Lucke and Melissa Rodenbeek brought up some sweet vocals, especially on "Good Morning, Bubblegum." That song had a wholesome, flower-power vibe. Lucke reminded me of Thom Yorke's expressive vocals from Radiohead. Rodenbeek also indulged in her guilty pleasure for Billy Idol glam with a cover of White Wedding. In the middle of their set, I'm not sure why the Harvey Girls felt they had to apologize for playing sad songs. The more melancholic tunes made the mood a pensevie one and that wasn't a bad thing for the show. I also digged it when Lucke allowed his guitar riffs develop into darker and more experimental chords. One time, a train whistle synched up with the band's climax. Overall, the Harvey Girls served up an enjoyable night out on the patio.

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