SHOW REVIEW: STRFKR & Reptaliens served as the perfect escape at Headliners (2/15)!

STRFKR’s performance at Headliners Music Hall late last week was the definition of a damn good time. The Oregonian indie pop group (whose name is a purified shortening of Starfucker), played a lengthy set that featured all the best cuts from their discography, and turned headliners into a madhouse of dance, light and enjoyment. Also, there was confetti. Lots and lots of confetti.

Another Oregon group, Reptaliens, brought a satisfying dose of weird as the opener. The sci-fi inspired, woozy pop the band specializes in was a treat, but almost moreso was the bizarre, inspired back-up dancing that accompanied it. What gets people going more than a person in a full-body leotard and crocodile mask, pulling off contemporary dance moves, and feeding apples to the people in the front row? Little, else I’d imagine.

STRFKR took the stage around 10:15, with frontman Josh Hodges in a blue dress and pink wig á la “Lazytown” (because why the hell not), and proceeded to bring the house down for a solid two hours. The band played all their hits such as “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second,” “Bury Us Alive,” and their cover of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Cuts from their newer, more synth-based material, such as “Tape Machine,” also made it into the mix.

Apart from some occasional feedback, the sound was tight, and the bass boosted and loud for optimal head-bobbing. Their stage designers took every chance they could to accompany a break or drop in a song to spray the crowd with confetti, which always elicited cheers no matter how many times they did it. In the height of the performance, the back-up dancers made their way into the crowd, surfing around on innertubes, by the good grace of the people below them. There were a couple close calls, especially when one of the dancers felt the need to climb his way up to Headliners’ balcony. But no necks were broken, and as a result it made for fantastic spectacle.

This performance was a perfect example of escapist concert-going. Not every show needs to bring you to tears or reconfigure your concept of live performance. Sometimes I just want to dance for a couple hours, bass-rattling in my ears, confetti stuck to my shirt, while I lift some dude in an astronaut outfit over the crowd. A big thank you to STRFKR for providing.

Watch a video taken from YouTube user Chris Petot of STRFKR performing below:

Aaron Hartley is a freelance journalist local to Louisville. When he’s not making coffee for a living, he’s staying on top of all things culture, from music to film. You can check out more of his writings here.