We love Halloween because we can pretend to be someone else. Even bands can pretend to be some other bands, as I found out at Revolver's Halloween Party.
The first act of the night was Slack Tide. Slack Tide is a loud indie rock band. Their sets are usually laced with thick fuzz tones and piercing solos. If '90s alternative rock Gods had children, Slack Tide would be the illegitimate Taiwanese offspring.
For Halloween, Slack Tide covered a song from the '90s that belies their usual image -- Spice Girls' "2 becomes 1". It took a while for the audience to realise what was going on but when they did, it was fun. Slack Tide has done other covers before (their cover of Manic Sheep's "La La La" remains a personal favourite) and when they do, they always impart their own signature spin. I am still amazed at Slack Tide's ability to dissect a pop song to its essence and then amplify the emotion through judicious use of fuzz and distortion.
The next act was No Order. It was my first experience with this hardcore band and they belted out aggressive in-your-face songs for most of their set. All the hallmarks of hardcore were there -- the screaming vocals, the ferocious drums, the thumbing bassline, and the thrashy guitar. Even the guitarist in a dress reminded me of Kurt Cobain.
Then, the Halloween surprise crept up. The band invited "Henry Rollins" to come on stage. To prove that he was indeed "Henry Rollins", he stripped to his undies to show off his chiseled frame (hmmm?) and his tattoos (felt marker pen-drawn). Then he proceeded to rip the audience's faces off with a few blistering songs. He might not have looked like Henry Rollins, but we could definitely pretend he was for the night. No Order showed me that though they play hardcore music, they do not take themselves that seriously. After all, No Order's "Henry Rollins" had a Perfume tattoo.
The last act was Forests' set. Slack Tide's bassist and guitarist put on suits and got on stage to prepare their instruments. Huh?
Then Forests (guitar and drums) got on and announced that they would be '60s surf music pioneers the Ventures for the night. It was a completely immersing performance by the foursome as they hit note for note with all the Ventures classics, such as Wipeout and Apache. They stayed in role throughout the entire set. All band members bowed after each song. Forests' guitarist sported an identical copy of the Ventures' grin. It was a complete costume and sucked the audience back in time to the '60s.
It was a night where bands wore "costumes" too. Slack Tide showed their "Wannabe" side. No Order dressed up as a Henry Rollins who did not take himself too seriously. Forests WERE the Ventures.
Magical night. I could not get that idiotic grin off my face for days.