Super Geek League live @ El Corazon
Super Geek League is a revolutionary, evolutionary, experimental chameleon, alternative rock band, from Seattle, changing its color from time to time, ever so slightly, but never so much as to confuse fans where they become unrecognizable to who they have been in the beginning to who they are now. Having reviewed SGL's album, 'A Magic Castle Land,' back in 2011, which had been released since 2009; I had not yet seen them live until recently. The El Corazon is an average sized venue, a little small for SGL's twenty band members, but they make it work for them, and close proximity between band, stage and audience makes it all the more special when the big production antics ensues.
Super Geek League's Third album, 'Soul Metal,' was Rocked live, in its full glorious, entirety, with Commander Tomorrow (Floyd) leading the cast, and Lead Vocalist, the talented, and sumptuous "Vy Agra," SGL's totally hot front woman by his side. It was the most entertaining concert I'd ever been to, I will never forget the experience. Before the main event, I went backstage to meet the band, and I got an up close view of the chaotic poetry of twenty people in a cramped dressing room made for six people tops, brushing against each other every time someone hustled back and forth in preparation, taking turns, moving from room to hall way, and back again, all the while, laughing beautiful women getting into costume around musicians bantering and joking, the girls didn't miss a beat, rehearsing their sexy sychronized dance moves, in such a small space. It was as I imagined. The energy, and anticipation was high, and I felt that along with them. I enjoyed witnessing what few do, SGL preparing to rock their fans world. Speaking of Fans, I was also introduced to Kelley McKenzie, who is a self proclaimed, number one fan.
In Kelleys own words:
"I knew Sunshine Applebeard before knowing about Super Geek League. I then met all of them at the "Magic Castle Land," CD party. I then told them I'd help them promote for their up coming show at the Showbox SoDo, and got to know Knuckles, and Pword. I got to know everyone else at the show, and decided that Super Geek League is the coolest band I've ever seen or heard! I then went to every show I could, and ended up being a friend as well as a fan. Then, for my birthday last April, I got the SGL logo tattooed on my arm to show my love for the band, and the music. (I saw the tattoo, very cool.) I consider the members of Super Geek League to be some of my greatests friends! I also made them custom LEGO minifigures for them for christmas". - Kelley
While Backstage, a little interaction with band members:
DR: What do they call you?
Pword: It's a long story dude.
DR: Is it?
Knuckles: How did he get his nickname?
DR: Yeah, "Pword," short version.
Knuckles: His name was pussy, but nobody wanted to call him that in front of his mom, so they started calling him "Pword."
Pword: That's the jist, over the years.
DR: What's your birth name?
Pword: Birth name?
DR: Your real name?
Pword: That's locked away records man, nobody in this room knows that shit.
DR: LOL ok we'll keep it that way then.(staring at his bass)That's nice, what is it?
Pword: It's an Ibanez btb-6.
DR: Right on.
Pword: That's my mistress.
DR: You guys putting on some make up?
Floyd: No, something a little new, It's a little different.
DR: I heard a rumor, you guys are going to try out for Americas got talent.
Grib: It's not a rumor.
Floyd: Oh yeah, we already did it.
DR: You did it? how'd it go?
Floyd: It's bizzare, they made us do all these, all this stuff, and assigned this producer; we had to pick cover songs, and did them as a marching band, which we're not. We had to do it acoustically for the actual producers audition, so we did one of "our" songs as a marching band, and they were like, ok you guys are definitely in, etc. Being Hollywood, they will probably call us last minute, next week, then we'll jump on a plane to San Francisco.
DR: Hopefully you're one of the main acts that get through.
Floyd: If they let us do our normal thing, like a full production, would be a lot better. They want you to do cover songs, can't do originals, they don't give you a catalog to pick from. You have to give them three songs, then they say, we can't clear any of these, give us three more. You have to do a ninety second cover , and score, and tag a performance to it, not only do you have to learn that, but we have to do the other things we normally do also.
Floyd: They just give you a big run around, so when they do call, we'll probably just go in there, and do an original, even though we're not supposed to, yeah fuck it.
DR: Yeah, go for it. So did you audition in front of Howard Stern?
Floyd: No, that's at the next one coming up. They like, solicited us, to come out for a private audition.
DR: Oh, good.
Floyd: So that's what we did, and this next round is for the judges.
DR: I know Howard Stern would love this.
Floyd: Oh yeah.
DR: Well, good luck man.
Floyd: Thanks man, appreciate it. (Speaking on El Corazon show) It'll be like an intimate gathering tonight.
Grib: This is Knuckles.
DR: Knuckles? You play Guitar?
Knuckles: Yeah, and some other shit.
DR: You guys are good man. I haven't heard your latest album yet, but I'll definitely go through, and listen to it.
Floyd: Yeah do it, "Soul Metal," you'll hear it all tonight, we'll play the whole thing.
I walked down the hall toward the stage, Super Geek League lined the wall, and as I passed by them I wished them a good show by saying, "break a leg," as is tradition, just then, Knuckles yells, "I'm going to break my face!" or was it your face, I'm not sure. That made me smile.
What they did that night was spectacular, and larger than life, much larger than the stage allowed, and Captain Tomorrow was right on, when he used the word intimate. Each song had its own choreographed routine, and signature light show. The white zoot like suits with giant orange flowers, custom made L.E.D. hats flashing rotating lights synchronized with the driving metal notes, all just a mezmerizing fraction of what SGL's show is made up of. Hearing Vy Agra's powerful vocals live, Just Wow. My nickname for her is Vy Vy, yeah I'm crushing, she had built in lights in her tight white custom pleather dress as well. Captain Tomorrow's chorus screams sounding like KillSwitch Engage. LOve it! The music off of 'Soul Metal,' is as great as their two previous albums, without much deviation in writing style, and seeing it come to life in person is almost an indescribable feeling. I love the originality of using a horn section in the arrangements, it gives it something different and unique not typically seen in Metal; that truly makes it alternative. The dancing women adds so much to the viceral sexiness of what the show is. When the ring act was performed on a couple of the songs, I was amazed, and can only imagine how much strength, and balance it took to perform while being done so gracefully, at the same time hanging in the air; it was very much like Circ Du Soleil. Even the dancers sexy/gorgeous outfits had Hi-Tech custom rotating lights, built into them, and they wore it well; their costumes, some of them with full masks, reminded me of Mardi Gras, and Rio De Janero's Carnival, with a little Vegas thrown in.
Opening with, "Snake Oil," a perfect choice for introducing their energy. The lights looked cool through the fog, reminiscent of Close Encounters of the Third kind. They played the songs, 'Intravenous Alien, and Fishing Man,' back to back, and for me those two songs represent their musical spectrum. They also did, 'Love Demon,' from A Magic Castle Land, and for an Encore, 'Horrible Day At The Midway,' from their 2007 album, Peppermint Rainbows.
Super Geek League is one of the most original Rock bands I've ever come across musically, but it's the live show that makes them stand out even more, absolutely Astounding. Adding to the uniqueness to SGL's sound is an instrument called the,"Theremin," which helps create subtle back ground ambiance of sounds and tones by controlling pitch, and volume, a difficult device to master from what I understand, and is played by Barry McCockner, the old man masked Priest. Just one example of many wonderful strange contributions by seen, and unseen forces, that make Super Geek League, all that it is.
SGL's signature confetti storm blasts, along with their famous, tossing pillows into the crowd, for an all out audience participation pillow fight, has to be experienced in person, and not just seen in a video, and with names like Commander Tomorrow, Gil Chowder, Knuckles, Vy Agra, Pword, Sunshine AppleBeard, MuffPumper, and Doctor Genius, to name a few, gives you an idea of a band who follows the mantra of, "It can't be all work, and no play." Super Geek League works hard, and plays hard, in their personal life too, I'm sure, and that is why they are so good. They're passionate about life, and right now, musically entertaining you is their life, which is bringing beauty to the "Soul," of the masses. By D.R.
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