|Photos by Brittanie Shey|
|Give them drugs so they'll shut up (please): Har Mar openers My Jerusalem|
Rocks Off pulled into the parking lot of Super Happy Fun Land fashionably late Saturday night just in time to see Sean Tillmann (a.k.a. Har Mar Superstar, clad in street clothes instead of his usual layers of costumes) hanging out by the Dumpster with his arms around a groupie. We didn't know at the time, but this vision would set the scene for the rest of the night's events.
We arrived just in time to catch Austin/NOLA conglomerate band My Jerusalem, a six-piece featuring members of Polyphonic Spree (Rick Nelson) and The Twilight Singers (Jeff Klein and Dave Rosser). My Jerusalem play wall-of-sound style rock that filled up the room with the help of vocals from all six members, plus trumpet, keys and strings. They reminded us a tiny bit of Spain Colored Orange, if SCO had a fuller sound.
But Rocks Off has a low tolerance for annoying stage banter, and Klein got on our nerves with his constant cockiness on stage, asking the crowd for drugs and repeated references to the venue as Super Happy Fucking Fun Land.
|Not responsible for sudden, incurable blindness: Har Mar Superstar|
Har Mar Superstar took the stage for an extended sound check - performing an entire song before Tillmann broke away to get into costumes. We say costumes, plural here, because the guy had a higher outfit-per-song ratio than Cher.
During the first song of the actual set we were disappointed to hear the entire band playing along to a prerecorded track. This was disappointing because Har Mar Superstar's band was quite awesome. They played harder than any band we've seen in some time, and we wonder what they'd sound like performing under a different genre.
Nevertheless, Har Mar had everyone
dancing right away, joining the audience on the floor for the first several songs. But back to the groupies. Three or four songs in, during "Sunshine," he spent a good 30 seconds making out with his most ardent fan instead of singing - it wasn't even the same girl as the one he was chattin' up outside.
|Har Mar's drummer is obviously well-schooled in the art of looking elsewhere.|
Pretty soon the whole dance floor began to look like couples-skate night (and sounded like it too, with Har Mar's disco-era R&B). Everyone was pairing up, dancing their asses off, making out.
By the time they play "Creative Juice" - "This one's got a beat to it, you're gonna love it. It's got good lyrics too, courtesy of fuckin' ME!" - half the members of the audience have started disrobing too. When Tillmann took his shirt off, it was like a cue for a quarter of the dudes on the dance floor to do the same.
Before long he's down to his trademark manties, and the girls grab at him as he sings "Almond Joy." It's like they genuinely dig him. We brave the front long enough to snap a photo. Our companion asks "Did you get your money shot?"
Rocks Off wasn't totally converted to fandom. We still can't take the goofy lyrics, in your face faux sexuality and disco-ball music seriously. But we can see how Har Mar Superstar, and his fans, are just in it for a good time.