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STRFKR @ THE FILLMORE - San Francisco, CA (11.14.16)

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STRFKR has been one of my favorite bands since tenth-grade-me would list them alongside MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, and Phoenix as my top 5. As cringe worthy as my music taste at the time was, STRFKR is one of those bands that has stuck around in my “recently played” playlist ever since. Though slightly cheesy with their synth-pop dance beats, the band is one which is self-aware and carries with them lyrical depth and technical skill. To say the least, I was excited to see them live and was more than ready to dance the whole way through.

Not surprisingly, (after all, Pitchfork has described their stage presence as straight-up electric) the band lived up to my expectations. The show started in a playful manner, as ten people in full astronaut suits stood against the backline and stared blankly at the audience. A few minutes later, the band entered, one at a time, all dressed in full black mechanic-like jumpsuits except Joshua Hodges, who was dressed in a blonde wig, fishnets, and a sequined tight blue dress. The astronauts then broke their stoic poses, jumping and dancing through the rest of the first few songs and firing off confetti cannons as they went. After that, we all knew this show was going to be a party from beginning to end.

The only time the show stopped was so a dressed-in-drag Hodges could make a statement on the political climate, avoiding the election itself to say they would do anything in their power to make the show a safe space. The crowd surged with cheers, yelling back at Hodges about their love and appreciation. After that, everyone in the crowd treated each other as a friend, not only dancing with those they came with but the strangers around them as well. Security guards were taking videos and pictures for fans from behind the barricades, and threatening to stage dive. It was a party all around. The band members stayed mostly stoic, rocking side to side and switching instruments with each other every so often.

The show ended with the return of our beloved astronauts, shaking their butts and waving at members of the audience with no shame. Multiple of them crowd-surfed, the last of which did so upon a giant blow-up flamingo. Hodges or Glassford would occasionally crack a smile, but all four members still kept their casual, “I know I’m a rock star but I don’t care” demeanor. They’re quirky, for sure, and yet non-stop fun. Their show is inoffensive, theatrical and enjoyable the whole way through. Focusing on their best-known material, even the passive fan would be entertained. Overall, their show represented what a feel-good, alt-pop show should be.  

Photo Credit: Andy De Santis

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