Man Man, Xenia Rubinos Fitzgerald's Upstairs September 22, 2013
Man Man has always been a bit of a mystery, so much so that many people in Sunday's crowd were unaware that the group would even be headlining the venue's upstairs ballroom that night.
Before the Philly group even stepped onstage, many fans could be overheard talking about how they "didn't even know Man Man was in town," or thanking their friends for "making sure [they] didn't miss this one." Hell, even I was excited to be seeing the group in a live setting.
You see, I've seen Man Man once before -- albeit briefly -- at the annual Mess With Texas showcase in Austin during South By Southwest. Unfortunately, I only got to see about three songs before my show companion asked to leave, citing the performance being "just too fucking weird to handle."
And thanks to one of KTRU's annual outdoor shows, I also had the pleasure of seeing Man Man leader Honus Honus perform in Mister Heavenly, alongside Nick Thorburn (The Unicorns/Islands) and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse/The Shins.) This prepared me enough for what was in store, but the men of Man Man always seem to find a way to surprise their fans.
As the lights dimmed, a spooky remix of Cher's "Life After Love," played over the speakers, welcoming the band onto the stage in their coordinated black T-shirts and red pants. (Or in Honus Honus' case, shorts.)
But things didn't stay that way for long. Honus Honus, Man Man's lead vocalist and keyboardist, was backstage throwing on a blue-striped suit jacket before jumping to the front of the stage to sing the band's second song, "Loot My Body."
What was so humbling about watching Honus Honus perform, however, was how much he involved the crowd into his performance.
While other singers might simply put on an act and "work" the front of the stage to give the illusion of closeness, Honus Honus was getting into the thick of it, often climbing down on his hands and knees in order to grab the faces of those in the front row as they sang the words along with him.
It's the kind of stage presence that might not seem surprising at the moment, but in the overall scheme of things, it made the performance that much more enjoyable.
Review continues on the next page.