Photos and GIFs by Kayla Surico
Words by Chase Bauduin
STRFKR is from Portland, and much like Portland they are weird as hell. This 4-piece doles out intoxicatingly danceable indie-electronica and a performance stolen out of a psychedelic wet dream. Along with hundreds more I made my way through the hell-heat of Floridian summer to The Beacham, ever so happy for a night of bright colors, blissful music, and whatever weirdness waited.
Reptaliens were the only other act on the bill, starting the night off not with a bang, but a prayer. A lizard-headed, sheen-robed figure arose from the shadows. Spoken word boomed over head and the band assumed positions, and as lizard-head’s psalm ended the catchy music began. I was thoroughly pleased by how refreshingly balanced and easy-going their songs were without ever becoming dull. Lush layers of warm keys, melodic basslines, and the most agreeable combination of psychedelic pocket-drumming and jangly-to-creamy-to-huge guitar divination made me glad they were given a lengthy performance. Also, lizard-head’s friends turbo-arms, “REPTALIENS RULE EARTH”, and Harvey Dent joined the stage cyclically, always assuring the crowd would have something to be confused about.
STRFKR brought a performance of equivalent strangeness. They shared the stage, fairly consistently, with two dance-happy astronauts. STRFKR has a way of reminding you why they pull heads. They started the set with “Tape Machine” and played song after song of 4-to-the-floor earcandy that sounds like dancing on LSD feels. They played fan favorites like “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” and “While I’m Alive”, broken up by strangely satisfying covers of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me”. Hips shook as synths sang and an astronaut crowd-surfed on a huge, inflatable swan. The set stretched into the night, strung together seamlessly affront a wall of LED lighting displaying colorful patterns and pixelated mountainscapes, pulsing and glowing along with the music. As far as bright colors, blissful music and weirdness went, my expectations were wholly satisfied. Reptaliens is doing something great and I expect to see more of them, and STRFKR brought the beautiful, wonderfully strange performance everyone knew they could expect that night.