Man Man: Jackpot Saloon Lawrence, Kansas

Warning: Man Man is not for the weak. Seeing them live could result in over- stimulation, hyper-activity, allergic reaction to cowbell, injury from head banging, body surfing, or mosh pit participation, and the chronic fear of flying drumsticks. You should honestly be this tall to ride this ride.

Man Man is less like a rock show, and more like a trip to the circus. No kidding, a fat woman on an unicycle could juggle baby tigers as a sword swallowing man takes a cannonball in the gut, and no one would bother to question their relevance on stage next to Honus Honus. Hell, I’m not completely sure anyone would even notice they were there, scattered amongst the seventeen (or more) instruments. Cluttering the floor were eight drums, pots and pans, a trumpet and sax, a moog, a keyboard, a cowbell, a few guitars, maracas, plastic horns, 2 yellow plastic chickens, xylophones and bells, a handful of cymbals, woodblocks, and an old trash can. This band is Blue Man Group meets Stomp, without the fucking gimmick.

Rocking a percussion heavy set is not an easy task at the Jackpot Saloon. I watched as the five members swung ten arms in thirteen directions to produce multiple drum patterns. As one member would swing, another would duck, leaning out of the way of the desired target of the pounding. The drummer’s cymbals were an open target of this abuse, often being attacked from multiple angles. In addition to swing arms, the groups legs sort and aim for the next desired piece, often thrown down chaotically in order to move forward in the song. When Man Man claims to put their whole body into their act, it’s not just a play on words.

Playing an eighteen song set, with each song featuring a unique feel, Man Man rocked out for nearly an hour and a half. Sporting a tribal-punk sound, if you added a college drum line to the band, the crowd certainly got what it paid for. This “think outside the box” band always allows something to look at, whether it be members swinging a vacuum hose, jumping on a bass drum, or sporting a white outfit with a glitter vest. Plastic chickens are used to mute tubas. Tubas are used to replace guitar solos. Guitar solos sound like surf rock riffs, while “Wipe Out” drum solos are played on cooking pots. Not only do you often not know what is coming next with Man Man, you often don’t believe it once you’ve seen it.

You can grab Man Man’s new album, Rabbit Habits, in stores now, our review here. Also, feel free to check out the groups official website, and myspace to catch a list of tour dates, or stream tracks from their album. Also check out an interview PopWreck(oning) did with front man Honus Honus.

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One Response

  1. They’ve ruined all other music for me!
    Review of CD release show to come sooooooon 🙂

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