Neptoon Records hosted a whopping nine bands this year. The Vicious Cycles got the early crowd bobbing their heads with frequent nods of approval and dancing thanks to their brilliant use of the theremin in the ever so catchy “I Love My Bike.”
Once Thee Manipulators took the stage, the store got packed. It was the band’s record release for Ease Up on the Break Downs and it was clear they wanted to impress. The band worked the crowd, tossing out little maracas to get everyone shakin’ and their ecstatic fans started on the “woo o-oos,” before the band got the chance to when they broke into “(It’s Gonna Be) Alright.” That infectious organ, heavy snare and an intensified cover of “Just a Little Misunderstanding” is all that was needed to get people moving towards the shelf packed with the band’s freshly pressed LP.
Up next were the Evaporators. Nardwuar the Human Serviette couldn’t sing if his life depended on it, but boy can he make the crowd hyper. The Evaporators are all about audience interaction. Chocolate was handed out, two frightened teens held Nardwuar up on their shoulders, and a half naked Nardwuar managed to get the entire store to crouch down and jump in the air. The store turned into a gong show and people were either thinking “What the fuck?” or grinning with excitement.
After the Evaporators, the crowd faded and unfortunately missed a nice set by trio Petroleum By-Product. Though their levels had to be adjusted and they seemed bored, their simplistic, ’80s New Wave tracks, proved that less is more. A lesson that the band that followed them, Brain Bolt, should note. They were no doubt the loudest, but it was like they were having a private jam session that went on way too long. People were either tired or Brain Bolt seriously cleared the place out.
It was obvious that the last two bands were fillers, but the energy from earlier on still made the show worth it. And who can complain when you also received a free lollipop and Neptoon button.