One of the best things about seeing a really good concert
is the way the band
interacts with the audience
. You can hear the music
any time by just popping a cd
into your stereo, but a band with stage presence
will make its performance not just a concert, but a show
. And Lovage puts on a damn good show.
I saw them a few hours ago at the Middle East Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The music was great, but they added a few more little touches that made it even better.
So, some highlights:
- Several of the band members came onstage in loungewear -- sort of cheesy, sort of cool silk robes.
- During several of the songs, Kid Koala (the turntablist for the band) collected donations in a cup from audience members near the stage. As far as I know, the money went solely to Kid Koala, not a charity or anything.
- The bassist (or possibly the guitarist -- I was pretty far away and pretty short) made two costume changes during the show. After the loungewear, he changed into a thong with nothing else but a white tie. According to my six-foot-tall friend who could actually see the stage over everyone else's head, he then had a guy from the audience come up onstage and whip him. Later on, he donned a Spiderman costume. It's worth noting that all the other band members stayed in semi-normal clothing for the entire time.
- Jennifer Charles (one of the lead singers) faked an orgasm for one of the songs.
- During a song performed only by Kid Koala, Mike Patton (the other lead singer) and one of the other band members (again, I couldn't quite see who it was, due to my height) came through the audience with a bottle of chocolate syrup (Hershey's), pouring it into people's mouths so that it got all over their faces, and then licked it off of them. They got within a couple feet of me and my friend. However, being the wuss and monogamous person that I am, I made sure to steer clear.
- During the encore, Mike Patton announced, in a gameshow host-type voice, "All right, folks, it's that time of the night where the audience interacts with the band members!" They proceeded to hold a slow dance competition in which three audience members danced with the Jennifer. Contestant #2 was female, so I expected her to automatically win. However, contestant #3 picked Jennifer up and spun her around, so he ended up winning instead. He was supposed to get some "hot goat-sex weed" but ended up receiving a dollar from Mike Patton instead. Almost as good. Incidentally, Mike said that Jennifer was his girlfriend; this makes sense considering the subject matter of most of their songs and how touchy-feely they were with each other.
And that is why Lovage are worth seeing live.
Also, according to http://www.allmusic.com, the only people appearing on Lovage's album, Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By, are Afrika Bambaataa (guest appearance),
Jennifer Charles (vocals), Kid Krupa (turntables), Mike Patton (vocals), Howie Weinberg (mastering), Kid Koala (guest appearance), and Dan "The Automator" (producer, mixing). I have found no connection between the band and Sally McKay or Mike Young.
Addendum: I now understand the confusion about the band members. I did a search on google.com for a combination of Lovage, Sally McKay, and Mike Young, and came up with only two sites. I found a third by going to www.lovage.com. All three of these sites say that Lovage is a band from Ontario whose first album, Idiots and Mystics, came out in 1996. I would just assume that this meant there were two bands with the same name, but www.lovage.com claims that Lovage (the Ontario version) opened on January 15 (it does not specify the year) for none other than Dan the Automator, Kid Koala, and Mike Patton. My only guess is that Dan and crew liked the name of their opening band so much that they decided to adopt it.
Addendum #2: Hyperspace has informed me that www.lovage.com no longer exists. Sorry, kiddies. But take my word for it -- when that site existed, it really did supply me with that strange and confusing information I referenced above.