Who: Tour de Force 2018: Ninja Sex Party, TWRP, Planet Booty
Where: The Fillmore Silver Spring, Silver Spring, Maryland
When: October 9, 2018
Ninja Sex Party just finished a seven-week-long run at the top of the Billboard Comedy Albums chart with their latest LP, Cool Patrol. The band proved that their ’80s-inspired synth-rock with colorful lyrics will live on forever when they brought the “Tour de Force” to The Fillmore Silver Spring.
The evening’s first performance wasn’t even on the bill! Outside the venue, starting about two hours before the doors opened, some of the 2,000 young, avid fans in line were singing along to a random attendee’s phone speaker as it played an equal mix of both original songs and cover songs from Ninja Sex Party’s ever-growing catalog. Each track was given the same amount of cheerful enthusiasm, whether the song was an oldie that was first released during the band’s debut year of 2009, like “No Reason Boner;” a classic cover, such as NSP’s acoustic take on “Rocket Man;” or the recently-trending hit, “Danny Don’t You Know.” The sing-a-long lasted right up until the lobby opened its doors, pausing only for entry instructions given to the line from The Fillmore’s security staff. Or for occasional gamers to check on their phones for some bonus slots.
As the crowd entered the venue, attendees dressed in costumes inspired by the looks and the songs of the comedy-rock bands on the bill grabbed the attention of fellow concert-goers and venue staff alike. Questions like “Is that another unicorn?” and “Did you make that cape yourself?” were among the conversation-starters as the audience awaited the first act of the evening.
Planet Booty, a trio of electric-funk musicians from Oakland, California, kicked off the festivities on-stage and quickly got the sold-out room jumping and dancing along with them. Dylan Germick (lead vocals, trumpet), Josh Cantero (vocals, trombone, keys), and Rob Gwin (bass, percussion) set the tone as they stepped on-stage in glittering, sequined blazers and jackets. Germick hoisted one extra-special accessory above his head as he introduced himself and his bandmates to the audience: a life-size sculpture of a woman’s posterior, decorated in the style of a disco ball. Over their brief set, the trio encouraged everyone to sweat, to dance, to make love (“consensually!”), and to “Take Off Your Pants.”
Next up were the Space Canadians from both the 1980s and the future, Tupperware Remix Party (a.k.a. TWRP)! The eclectic quartet (Doctor Sung on talkbox and keytar; Commander Meouch on bass; Lord Phobos on guitar; Havve Hogan on drums) literally high-kicked off the beginning of their high-energy, synth-funk set with “Synthesize Her,” the lead single from their recent LP, Together Through Time.
Doctor Sung led the willing audience through their action-packed set with high-kicks; a Nunchuk kata at the end of “Atomic Karate;” the occasional tossing of half-eaten crumbs during the instrumental number, “Food Bar;” and even a split-jump off of Havve Hogan’s drum riser! (Havve didn’t even flinch, keeping the tempo as tight as the brightly-colored spandex suits that each member donned.) Commander Meouch’s fast finger-pick grooves set a high bar for Lord Phobos, his six-stringed friend on the opposite side of the stage. Phobos took that bar and punted it to the moon, holding his own with each thoroughly-shredded guitar solo.
As soon as TWRP wrapped up their last song, the entire room went pitch-black! An animated intro video immediately started playing on-screen, kicking off the loose, goofy narrative that would weave its way through the headlining comedy band’s set. TWRP worked their way back on-stage in the darkness as the intro went on.
Epic, dramatic chords were played as two figures emerged from the shadows and took center stage in silhouette. The lights went back up, the “Ninja Sex Party” intro theme song began, and the crowd went WILD!
“Danny Sexbang” (a.k.a. lead singer Dan Avidan), in his signature spangly blue spandex unitard with matching cape, shimmied with enthusiasm and smiled with pure joy while singing to the sold-out Silver Spring audience. His attempts at seducing potential lovers have always historically ended in a bad fashion, but his charming live performance won over the hearts and ears of each attendee. In (expected) total contrast, “Ninja Brian” (otherwise known as keyboardist Brian Wecht), clad in his black long-sleeve t-shirt with dueling yellow dragons, black pants, and black ninja mask/hood, gave nothing other than the firm, cold stare of a compulsive murderer, even while participating in light-hearted choreography. TWRP provided the instrumental coverage that the duo lacked, as they have also done in the studio for NSP’s releases since 2016, providing an authentic and full-bodied rock’n’roll vibe for all of the tracks played over the course of the night.
Beginning the set with the title track to their latest Billboard chart-topping album, Danny then looked into the crowd and spotted two of the unicorns on the floor of the venue. After also discovering an impressive Skeletor cosplay, Danny commented, “Well, now I wanna see the unicorns and Skeletor fight each other!” (Nothing became of that impromptu battle proposal in the end, but the unicorns did get a small tribute of sorts when the band played the original track “Unicorn Wizard.”)
The majority of the set consisted of NSP’s original comedy music, but a few cover tracks from the Under the Covers series of cover albums were sprinkled throughout the evening. Danny Sexbang, Ninja Brian, and TWRP flowed easily between genres and moods, whether the songs were disco-heavy boogies, arena-rock anthems, or “bloopy” reggae jams. Lord Phobos even broke out an acoustic guitar for the heartfelt, more-adorable-than-its-title-makes-it-sound track, “Heart Boner.”
The evening flew by as the antics on-stage and in the video interludes grew more ridiculous, culminating in a climax at the end of the show that Concert Crap will not spoil for its readers that have yet to witness Ninja Sex Party play live in their town! The last song of the encore, the original NSP/TWRP collaboration called “The Hit,” served as the perfect demonstration of how well these two bands have grown together as live performers since they began touring together on the national level in mid-2016. All 2,000 of the fans in The Fillmore Silver Spring left the venue that night with a vivid and personal reminder of why Ninja Sex Party is at the top of their game, and at the top of the musical comedy world.
Post and photos by Elizabeth Owens
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