For a band that most laypeople have no idea how to pronounce, an impressively full crowd showed up to get their dance on to !!! (chk chk chk). Due to Blonde Redhead’s last minute cancellation, the Main Stage lineup prior to Atmosphere’s performance each shifted to a later slot. Contrasting spotlights against the Capitol Hill night sky invigorated !!!’s set as they played with blistering dance-rock madness. Upon taking the stage there was no turning back as concert goers immediately threw their kettle corn over their heads in favor of perpetual double fist pumping, hip swaying and head bopping.
If LCD Soundsystem is the thinking man’s dance-rock band, full of subtle one-liner references and drawn out gradual changes to synth lines, then !!! rules the other end of the spectrum. For whatever they lack in finesse, chops or strategy they make up for in mind-blowing stage presence, raw energy and undeniable putz bah. In between screaming, shouting and invoking his sly baritone murmur, Nic Offer pranced all around the stage demonstrating his know how as a New York trained frontman and daring the audience to dismiss his sex appeal.
No song lacked the intense vigor of a great progressive dance-rock song throughout the show. “Wannagain Wannagain” made use of a tasteful trade off between the two lead vocalists, the steady plod of the drums on “Yadnus” sounded more like a fully realized stadium anthem in the block party setting and the intro on “All My Heroes Are Weirdos” mimicked a superhero’s leitmotif entrance prior to Offer screaming the first verse like he was experiencing his first migraine headache and ibuprofen transformed his vocal chords into hulk like roar machines.
By the time !!! reached “Heart of Hearts” the crowd was already riled up more so than any of the previous concerts of the weekend. Always prepared for the party, they drew out their last two songs to about ten minutes each, forcefully jolting between percussion interludes and massive four to the floor, bass line driven disco beats. The downbeat always began with an enormous crash and bass hit signifying where a giant spasm ought to occur for any member of the audience during their dancing. By the time the show was over, no one would have been surprised if !!! had spontaneously combusted from over revving their booty shaking machines.