I found this intriguing paragraph on the site kazoos.com and have to share it with any Man Man fans who may read this, since most of us at the show probably passed by their merch table and picked up a free plastic kazoo, courtesy of the band: “The kazoo was originally meant to be a sophisticated disguise of the voice. Like the mask worn by the actor. Now the kazoo wears a mask. A clown’s mask–only to step out in the light when the serious musicians have left the stage. A fill in without impact. It’s time to bring the kazoo back into the top of musical influence and significance. It’s time to tear off the heavy mask of the kazoo. It’s time to bring the kazoo back to life.” Heavy, yes, strange, definitely; yet it makes sense in light of a Man Man show.

I hope anyone who picked up a Man Man kazoo played it just as wildly, at breaks in the set, as lead singer/keyboardist Honus Honus (Ryan Kattner) belted out the band’s latest songs from their latest, Life Fantastic and hits from classic albums like Six Demon Bag and Rabbit Habit. Why not break free of your polite self-restraints and be wild when you get the chance? Odd is good. Man Man knows how to have fun, and their crowd follows suit, bringing all ages on their feet and feeling every beat, like the best theatre should.

After what seemed too long of a pause before the band took the stage (they were building up the excitement, people!), Man Man and their vaudevillian devil of a frontman, the sinister Honus Honus, came on like a cathartic storm, an influx of clever asylum escapees, a jubilant cat fight, an unrelenting trip that had the crowd pulsing from start to fiery finish (e.g., the 10-song encore).

The band’s creative use of everything noise producing, from a set of jangly keys to bicycle spokes, is just one part of their flair for the dramatic. They’re all amazing musicians with equally amazing names (Pow Wow is their masterful drummer). At one point, Honus Honus leaves his Rhodes to Moth and takes the spotlit mike, donning a sparkly trench coat and steam punk goggles, performing “Haute Tropique” (about a finicky cannibal), while unleashing pockets full of paper shreds upon the sweating front row fans. With war paint and glow sticks, mosh pits and kazoos, Man Man’s rabid crowd gave the band back as much appreciation as they could muster. Shows like this are experienced far too infrequently these days.


(Video from the swirling pit of fans, I got ejected by the jetty)

Video by Zabatay