Masked madman Nobunny delivered a range of good-time, bubblegum pop and garage punk at Alex's Bar on Saturday. As always, the man born Justin Champlain performed both shoeless and pantless--quite a sight to behold in a crowded room filled with howling, drunk fans. Before launching into his set, Champlain admitted that he'd lost his voice already due to a soar throat. "But I'm hoping to find it tonight for you," he said. You could hear the hoarseness in his vocals and it wasn't as loud as previous shows I've seen but damn if he didn't give it his all. He played all of his staple songs like "Chuck Berry Holiday," "I Am A Girlfriend" and "The Gutter." The band ripped through the songs at a power pop speed and punk rock frenzy that made the crowd dance and sing along.
The on-stage antics were more subdued this time around and didn't include lighting off fireworks, stripping, Bible-ripping or taking a pin off his jacket and sticking it through his bare chest like I've seen previously. No, Saturday was tame in Nobunny standards with just a plain ol' leather jacket, bunny mask and black briefs. Of course no Nobunny show is ever really plain. At one point, he thrusted the mic down his underwear and made his bassist count off the next song into the defiled microphone.
There were a few audience members that sought to liven things up like the young ladies front and center who threw beer on him, gifted him with sips from their tall boys, and made their cameos on stage. Champlain had to tell them to stop spraying beer on him. Later in the set an enthusiastic fan stole the mic from the guitarist to sing along and later tried to stage dive. Alex's Bar: not the best place to stage dive, kids. He dove right into the loving arms of a bouncer who was less-than-pleased with his antics. Nobunny stopped the music and told the kid, "Hey, stop resisting," and the fan was finally escorted out. Despite his failed attempt at crowd surfing, the attempt to keep the energy going when the headliner wasn't on top of his game was commendable. But overall, the fans got what they came for: a night of mask-wearing, beer throwing Nobunny goodness, all performed in his signature stripped-down fashion.
Critic's Bias: I always try to see Nobunny when he plays in LA or OC. I've seen him in venues ranging from UCI to the El Rey.
Overheard in the Crowd: "So can I get a number from one or both of you?"
Random Notebook Dump: Opening act Thee Cormans are funny.
Nobunny Loves You
Mess Me Up
Motörhead With Me
I Am A Girlfriend
Ain't It A Shame
Not That Good
Chuck Berry Holiday
You Don't Like Rock 'N Roll