When I heard that local theatrical punk band the Danger Board were hosting an “eighth of July BBQ,” having previously experienced their wild shows performed in costumes, featuring audience participation games including a xylophone contest—I knew this would be one firecracker of a show.
Costumed, as usual—from 19th-century historical dress to B-movie sci-fi kitsch to all-American red, white, and blue clothing—the band members took the stage at the Uptown Bar. Why the 8th instead of the 4th? Because, they informed us, “eight is obviously four better.” They promised to treat us to all (or at least some) of the following: rock, sunburns, guitars, a tiny BBQ, underwater adventures, off-season discount fireworks, and a sack race. Indeed, we got all that and more.
The set kicked off with a couple of short and intense songs performed in rapid-fire succession, followed by Danger Board staples “Dream Kids” and “Pelican Briefs.” The band is refreshingly physical. Singer Ephraim Eusebio pogo-hopped, climbed the mike stand, flailed on the floor, banged on a drum, and arched his back as he howled and screamed. Martin Martinson danced, sang and growled while playing a mean bass. Gwen G. Gwensdottir(son) danced and spun, changing roles from vaudevilliain show-girl to go-go girl to cheerleader, sashaying through the audience with toys, and serving tiny weenies in Dixie cups from the onstage grill. Guitarist Eric E. Ericson and drummer Jarrin J. Jarrinson tightly propelled the melodies and the beat forward in a mesh of styles including post-punk, alt-rock, and new wave.
After a rough balloon game on the floor, they played “Evil Trumps Lame”—one of my favorites—and “Penalty Kick.” The mini weinies were served and a gamut of facial expressions ensued as the audience nibbled the mystery meat during “Repeal Cataracts.” Ephraim and Gwen stripped down to briefs and bikini during “Smell the Chap”—the clear favorite of the night—closing with “B.A. Baracus Obama.”
It was one of the best The Danger Board shows I’ve seen to date: tightly wound and wildly fun.
Cyn Collins is a Twin Cities freelance arts and culture writer. She is the author of West Bank Boogie, a substitute programmer at KFAI, and an assistant producer of Write On Radio.