The Residents blurring the lines at Stage 48

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Serving as the imperial lords of weird and kings of the avant-garde underground, taking up the mantle left by greats like Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention, since 1972, The Residents are celebrating four decades of unbridled creativity with “The Wonder of Weird,” their 40th anniversary tour, which hit NYC’s newest lavish music venue on the Upper West Side called Stage 48. They have recently rechristened themselves as Randy, Chuck and Bob, after years of anonymity, as the members have ostensibly attempted to operate under anonymity, preferring, instead, to have attention focused on their art output, and now presents itself in concert as the ultimate offbeat power trio, pared down to guitar, keyboards and vocals. Outfitted in ceremonial costume, they came out with very little ballyhoo, no opener, no huge stage show, just an oddly timed inflatable Christmas arch setup, and set out to explain themselves, as inexplicable as they are.

The Residents, Stage 48, NYC 2/9/13
The Residents, Stage 48, NYC 2/9/13
The Residents, Stage 48, NYC 2/9/13
The Residents, Stage 48, NYC 2/9/13
The Residents, Stage 48, NYC 2/9/13

The Residents’ lead singer is, in reality, Randy Rose, who this night was dressed in a Santa suit with a creepy old man skull mask on top. He opened almost every song with a tale that served to explain far more than you thought you’d ever find out about this ultra-mysterious character they had developed, from revealing his short and failed time in the porn industry, to past failed relationships which featured the failure of eleven marriages as well as a life-long sexual addiction and dysfunction, to expounding on their one big commercial era defined by the giant eye-ball costume that never seemed to die in their many years of existence, all with rose ripping off a layer of his t-shirt to reveal a new graphic to describe an era of their expansive career. 

As for Chuck and Bob, both dressed in shiny dress suits with their faces covers in skintight black hose topped with long dark dreads, looking like futuristic bank robbers, both seated, one behind a laptop keyboard setup, and the other wailing out experimental cords on guitar. Periodically Randy would seem so effected by emotion of the stories he was expounding, he would saunter off stage leaving the other two to expound an impressive instrumental while waiting for him to return. Trespassing the countless numbers of albums may and blurring the line between experiment and expression, they managed to really develop an impressive flow through a great show. Randy grew agitated toward the end of the show and tore down the inflatable stage set, which was then replaced by a giant eyeball pyramid set that they then prayed to while breaking into a gripping encore of “Santa Dog” from the recent  ’06  disc of the same name and “Mahogany Wood” from the 1978 album Not Available. It was a brilliant mind-bending night perfect for any Residents fan looking for greater insight, and blurrier trespass, to one of the greatest experimental outfits in music history.

Setlist:
1) Loser=Weed Pt. 1
2) Picnic in the Jungle (Snakefinger cover)
3) Loser=Weed Pt. 2
4) Baby Sister
5) Give It to Someone Else
6) The Simple Song
7) Jack the Boneless Boy
8) The Confused Transsexual
9) (Unknown)
10) Teddy Pt. 1
11) Teddy Pt. 2
12) The Monkey Man
13) Struggle
14) The Man in the Dark Sedan
15) Hanging by His Hair
16) (instrumental)
17) Bathsheba Bathes
18) Honey Bear
19) The Black Behind
20) March to the Sea
21) Shorty’s Lament>
22) Constantinople
23) Would We Be Alive? Encore:
encore:
24) Santa Dog
25) Mahogany Wood




Tags: Concert Reviewstage 48The Residents

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