This week I went to see The Residents at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. The ICA is an absolutely beautiful place to see a concert, with perfect sightlines and great sound, which makes up for it being so inconvenient to get to from where I live. They put on quite a few interesting “new music” concerts there, and I’ve seen some truly remarkable performances thanks to them. It is, however, a slightly strange place for a band like the Residents to play. Not really the sort of band you expect to find in a museum.
Me reviewing the Residents is a little bit like NPR’s “You’ve Never Heard?” series, where they make an intern listen to something that was supposed to be really important when their parents were kids. The Residents were recording and performing for years before I was even born! I decided to go see them based on reputation alone (as a live music buff, I generally will go see a band live rather than buying a couple of CDs or spending an hour on Youtube checking them out). So I didn’t know what to expect aside from some vague impressions I’d gotten over the years.
I certainly wasn’t expecting a Christmas theme – but this is what we got! The set for the show was a giant inflatable Christmas decoration of the type that crazy people put on their lawns around the holidays. And here I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with any more giant Santas until September or October… oh well. When the band came out, I was impressed by the weird and extremely cool masks that Bob and Chuck were wearing, and a bit put off by (more…)