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April 3, 2014

NYC synthpunk band engages crowd at House of Blues

By Joshua Hoover

On March 30, Mindless Self Indulgence, a synthpunk band from New York City, brought their “How I Learned to Stop Giving a S*** and Love Mindless Self Indulgence Tour 2014” to a floor packed with angsty teenagers at the House of Blues.

Opening for MSI was The Bunny The Bear, a post-hardcore act from Buffalo. The band stormed the stage, opening the show with “Aisle,” from their 2011 album “If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say...” Featuring dual-vocalists, one wearing a bunny mask and one wearing a bear mask, the band exemplified the quirkiness that one comes to expect at an MSI show. With a ten-song set, The Bunny The Bear gave the crowd plenty of time to become fans, and it was soon evident that many people took that opportunity. Though a relatively new band, The Bunny The Bear did a great job of warming up the crowd and left to a round of applause and some scattered cheers.

The crowd quickly grew restless during the lull between acts, restlessly shifting back and forth and occasionally shouting. Finally, after a 30-minute delay, a few hits from the drums and chords from the guitars being tested spiked the crowd’s adrenaline, making the ten-minute wait until the MSI finally took the stage nearly unbearable.

Finally making their appearance, singer Jimmy Urine was a dervish as he ran and spun around the stage while belting out “It Gets Worse”, from 2013’s “How to Stop...” Following the song, Urine reminded everyone that the band had their money, and spoke about what they were planning on doing with it, including investing it into VHS tapes and paying off bassist Lyn-Z so that she won’t beat them up.

The band continued switching between songs and bantering with the crowd, making sure to keep everyone as engaged as possible. Each member of the band chose a song from the band’s extensive library that they felt like playing that night, making each stop on their tour a slightly different experience for the fans. Urine’s choice that night, “Clarissa,” from 2000’s “Frankenstein’s Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy,” had the older fans in the crowd moving, as it referenced the 90’s Nickelodeon show “Clarissa Explains It All.”

MSI decided to finish the concert by allowing the crowd to choose a song, with the knowledge that the other two would not be played. Urine gave the crowd the choice between “B******,” “I Hate Jimmy Page,” and “Straight to Video,” then instructed everyone to raise their hands to select the song they wanted. “Straight to Video” was quickly eliminated, with “I Hate Jimmy Page” being the eventual crowd selection. The crowd was a constant sea of motion throughout the entire song, with many moshing and crowd-surfing, while the less adventurous stuck to jumping up and down and singing along.

One thing that was odd, however, was that the band did not come out and perform an encore. The vast majority of the crowd stood around after the band walked off of stage, fully expecting them to return and play one or two more songs, like many other bands do. Instead, MSI decided to call it a night, leaving the fans wanting more. Though some in the crowd were irked, it was a fitting end to a unique show, and something that shouldn’t have surprised their fans.