Warning: The following set of videos from a recent Atlas Sound show in Minneapolis hails straight from the Land of Weird. When I caught wind of it in Pitchfork-via-Minnesota Daily, the story prompted six words and zero complete sentences in my mind: “What in the…I don’t even…”
It goes like this: some fan, perhaps looking to update the stale “Freebird!” joke, yelled out a request for The Knack’s ubiquitous hit, “My Sharona.” Bradford Cox responded by looping the famous bassline (you’re already humming it right?), proclaiming: “I am a performance artist! I must play what you want to hear.” A few guffaws in the audience quickly gave way to tense fascination, as one loop turned into a roaming ten minute jam, and those ten minutes turned into a bizarre, uncomfortable, hour-long rendition of the 1979 single.
Along the way, Cox–shouting through a black ski mask which, well, you know what those represent in movies–commanded the audience to strip to their underwear, wave chairs above their heads and welcome the “death of folk music and the birth of punk.” Which, when you put it that way Bradford, is exactly how to describe this strange outburst: reactionary and aggressive, but punk as all hell.
From the Minnesota Daily review:
In the end, “My Sharona” continued for a full hour. Bradford’s stage presence grew frighteningly powerful and bizarre […] When he called for the audience to join him on stage, staff members of the Cedar Cultural Center scrambled to prevent the show from getting further out of control. The house lights were raised in the final minutes, but the looping walls of noise and the bassline of “My Sharona” continued as Bradford slowly counted to ten, ending the show.
Nutty. Watch the bizarro videos below: