Each concert in the Weisman Art Museum’s WAMplified! series is a special event. The unusual, beautiful setting; the seemingly limitless buffet of cheese cubes and lunch meat logs; the PBR tickets; the gallery tours; the video game lounge; and, of course, the musical artists. The first band to get the museum treatment were Mates of State, followed by Har Mar Superstar. For the third installment in the series—and the last for a year, as the museum closes for a major expansion—local artists Solid Gold and Lookbook were invited (that is, paid) to play for the sold-out crowd who came in from a drenching downpour.
Lookbook have been playing new material in anticipation of releasing the follow-up to their debut album Wild at Heart, and their fans are becoming familiar with the material. Songs old and new were warmly received; the museum gallery proved a churchlike showcase for Maggie Morrison’s powerful and precise vocals, the nuances of which are sometimes lost at a venue like First Avenue.
Morrison and her bandmate Grant Cutler both contributed to the local supergroup Gayngs, as did three members of Solid Gold. When they played Rock the Garden in 2009—their highest-profile local gig to date—Solid Gold were known for surging, moody synth-rock. They were also known for being easy on the eyes. At the Weisman on Saturday night, fans were introduced to a new Solid Gold: a band that plays the same songs as the old Solid Gold (with a few new ones), but in slower, more atmospheric arrangements reminiscent of Gayngs in their more prog-rock moments. In the eerie glow of flashing neon multicolored lights, the band played the set’s duration seated and clad in feathered masks. The message seemed to be: now it’s about the music, and the music is going to get weird.
The turn met with praise from veteran scenesters and won approving nods from the music critics who were present, but casual fans were visibly confused, starting conversations or leaving early. They’ll know what to expect next time: Solid Gold could not have chosen a more appropriate venue than a museum of contemporary art to introduce listeners to their challenging new sound.
Another distinctive feature of WAMplified! concerts is the projection of a giant feed of tweets tagged with the series name. The screen always draws attention and inspires tweets ranging from incisive to inane; Saturday night, the onscreen action got particularly hot. One tweet reportedly led to the ejection of a concertgoer who seemed to be heavily under the influence of…something; and there was a post-show challenge to a public dance-off (which, unfortunately, did not happen) over an argument involving the proper use of @ symbols. Below are selected tweets from throughout the evening.
- Enjoying my COMPLIMENTARY CHILLED DIET COCA-COLA at #wamplified. (@alexgaterud)
- Lookbook doing their thing at #WAMplified. Looking like they want to make out is a big part of their act. (@petebasgen)
- Hey, hipster tool with your bleach-blonde gal pals trying to dance up front for the cameras at #WAMplified? I’m not gonna fucking move. (@OnanRulz)
- Hell yeah #wamplified cheese tray!! (@addisonborn)
- gettin WAMmered at #WAMplified (@Draaen)
- Some guys are just not meant to wear skinny jeans…or tight tshirts…just sayin’. #WAMplified (@cafecyan)
- @OnanRulz Whoever you are, look out. The people next to me are trying to figure out who you are, and they seem pretty pissed. #WAMplified (@JayGabler)
- “Hip” people need to learn not to wear their shitty “hip” clothes to an art gallery opening. You look like hobos. At #wamplified (@Geenaleigh)
- “This party got way too meta” – @gimme_noise #wamplified (@trikno)
- some #wamplified drama with umpd at the entrance (@tricktim)
- Digging this tribal, post- apocalyptic, dark and devious version of Solid Gold. #wamplified (@JahnaPeloquin)
- there’s someone in the front row at Solid Gold who shouts “Danger Zone” between every song. I’m down. #doit #WAMplified (@dena33)
- Nothing against their music, but I just don’t get Solid Gold live #wamplified (@sloped)
- Based on “sloped” and “onanrulz” tweets, they seem more interested in hating than dancing #wamplified (@carl_carpenter)
- Apparently I’ve been called out by a guy that can’t use @ symbols. cc @carl_carpenter #wamplified (@sloped)
- Meet me on the dance floor @sloped , that is, if u got time between ur hate sessions. #wamplified (@carl_carpenter)
- @carl_carpenter let’s do this. #wamplified. Standing here ready to go (@sloped)
- LOL! I’m 90% sure @sloped just got challenged to a dance battle at #WAMplified. (@petebasgen)
- Ok, I’m leaving. @carl_carpenter and I will meet again, and then we shall see who owns the floor. #wamplified (@sloped)
- So far the night is a success, the ladies have stayed in the dress! #wamplified (@formica_dinette)