by Sky Disco
The !!! (Chk Chk Chk) Showpaper benefit at 285 Kent Ave Sunday night was an adrenaline-pumping time. Upon entry, I witnessed several audience hopefuls get turned away by security for lack of tickets. (One girl had already purchased a ticket but had to kiss her boyfriend goodbye at the door because they wouldn’t sell him one.)
I held my ground like a tank at the front of the stage as the crowd really began to pack in. Next thing I knew, I was jolted to the side by a tom tom drum and then a keyboard case: openers Friends were occupying the stage! During their performance I wondered, “If it’s this crazy now, what’s to come?”
Pandemonium came, that's what. As !!! took over, more fans began to speak to me out of their excitement. “Where’s the guy?" they said. "Have you seen them play before? No? Most flamboyant guy ever! You’ll see.”
My heart started to race a bit more as the crowd tightened up. From the first note, the frenzy began. They way people were dancing, I was no longer a tank: I was a bumper car. All the players were super tight - especially guitar player Mario Andreoni, who was flawless with his up-tempo funk lines.
An outrageous performer, vocalist Nic Offer had everyone wrapped around his pinky. He was completely uninhibited, jumping into the crowd and sweating all over us. I was so close to the stage, I caught a stinging mic chord whip to my lip. FUN! .
During the last two songs, the crowd amped up even more and the crowd surfing began. People were rushing the stage. I even got kicked in the back of the head. Great show!