A modest crowd at Tipitina’s got down hard last Friday night, but the music they were grooving to was far from the NOLA funk that usually fills those hallowed halls. !!! (pronounced “chk chk chk”) blasted through a tight, hour-long set that showcased their distinct dance-punk stylings and delivered songs culled primarily from their recent release, Thri!!!er. Frontman Nic Offer’s nonstop hip thrusting and frequent excursions into the pit for some dance-offs with drunken partygoers kept the energy high, and the band behind him was spot on throughout.
Highlights of the show included Offer chanting “Do you believe in love?” at the end of the standout track “Even When The Water’s Cold” and the addition of horns to a few (but not enough) of the songs. To solve the age-old problem of how to perform a song without the guest vocalist from the album, !!! took a very 21st century approach and asked a fan in each city to upload a video of herself performing the female vocals for “One Girl / One Boy.” The winner from New Orleans showed off some impressive pipes and exuberant dance moves that easily won over the crowd and would honestly make a great addition to the band. Hopefully, the guest singers from other cities are just as good.
When hearing a dance band, the first thing that comes to my mind is nostalgia for LCD Soundsystem (RIP). While !!! certainly has the chops to hang with LCD, the band’s songs don’t hold the emotional weight of James Murphy’s near-classic compositions. The best moments of the set actually occurred during instrumental jams that veered off into unexpected places while keeping the crowd rapt. Personally, I think !!! would benefit from more dance and less punk to keep the bodies moving and establish itself as a distinct entity rather than LCD-Lite.
Regardless, it was clear that the majority of those in attendance were huge fans of the band, as they sang along to every song and called out requests. Offer, proving his true charm as a frontman, graciously accommodated a request for the encore and the band ended it all with a window-shattering techno outro.
And that’s how you leave ‘em wanting more.
This review by music writer Shane Colman is reposted from Live Music Blog, a content partner of NolaVie. A recent transplant to New Orleans, Shane spends his free time attending as many live events of the musical variety as he possibly can. From brass bands to rock shows, you can usually find him as close to the stage as possible swaying to the beat and sipping an Abita. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.