It may have been a few weeks ago, but the memory is fresh in our minds – STRFKR‘s most recent trip to Eugene, performing at WOW Hall with Com Truise and Fake Drugs. DJ Splanky and DJ Catwoman are here with the full report.
People were tripping up and tripping out at the STRFKR concert on February 17th at the WOW Hall. There is no doubt in our minds that this was the best concert of the month.
STRFKR had two openers, Fake Drugs and Com Truise. Fake Drugs was honestly not too much to write home about. This band only played a couple unmemorable songs and dipped out. They had some good beats, but their stage presence was all but nonexistent, and the crowd was moving like a pile of rocks. Fake Drugs is a synth-pop duo consisting of Matt Fuchs and Keil Cocoran. The duo have been close pals of STRFKR since the band took them under their wing in the Portland indie/synth-pop scene, and in the last five years they have appeared regularly on tours together. They gained some minor popularity with the release of their debut album, Drake Fugs, in 2010, and just recently released a new album titled Glass Eyes which they had been teasing at with demo releases for a couple of years. Hopefully by spending time touring with this new album, they will hone their style and be able to get audiences engaged in their music.
Com Truise was the second opener, and played enough music to more than make up for the lackluster performance of Fake Drugs. Com brought a style that he calls “mid-fi synth wave” and “slow-motion funk”, which translated to something like rad EDM jams with old video game sound effects mixed in. His tunes would make a killer soundtrack to a retro video game. He obviously has a deep love for the dusty, crass synthesizer sounds of the 80s, which he coupled with dark, bass-drum heavy trance beats to create a sound that was both nostalgic and futuristic. Com Truise is the stage name of Seth Haley, who prior to his music career was an art director and drum and bass DJ. He currently has two albums out, Galactic Melt and In Decay. His visual show consisted of projected images of moving shapes like the ones on the Galactic Melt album cover, and of tropical birds, which the crowd really got into. While it was really cool that he was remixing on the spot, he never acknowledged the crowd or said a word. It would have been nice to at least give a shout out to Eugene or something. His music was pretty fun to dance to though, which was especially noted by the crowd. There was an entire group next to us that was getting their interpretative dancing on – simply spectacular.
Com Truise left without a word and literally disappeared into the night. It wasn’t long afterwards that STRFKR came on at long last. It was such a thrill to hear them live. Sometimes you can find yourself disappointed at a concert because it turns out the vocalist or instrumentalists sound subpar and out of tune. This was not the case here. STRFKR pulled out an excellent live show that mixed light squares on the wall and sex dolls in the crowd. One of the band members even dressed up as an astronaut, got a raft, and literally rode the wave of the crowd. It is clear that their fame and relentless international touring has made them strong performers, and the quality of their music told you that these guys were extremely familiar with their material, and had rehearsed their songs to the point of perfection. One of the reviewers remembers seeing the band in Portland in early 2012, after the release of Reptillians. They were extremely fun to see back then as well, but lacked the polish that comes with performing night after night. Four years later at the WOW hall, they appeared much more comfortable as a band, and rocked a finely tuned set that had equal parts of new dopeness and classic bangers. It was so awesome to hear Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second and While I’m Alive live. They played lots of songs from their latest album, including Stay With You and Alantis, which was really great. They also pulled out plenty of fan favorites, like Bury us Alive and Pop Song. Their newest album by the way, Miracle Mile, is absolutely terrific. We highly recommend it. All in all, this was an unbelievably awesome show and they can’t come back soon enough.