Perhaps the only time Wes students have moshed to a 6o-year-old legend in Mickey Mouse pajamas.
On Saturday night, in one of the most bizarre, captivating, and intense performances I’ve witnessed at Wesleyan since Lightning Bolt or perhaps Už Jsme Doma, a golden nugget of blue-bearded wisdom reigned down on Eclectic. It came clad in Mickey Mouse-patterned pajamas and a yellow baseball hat. Its name was R. Stevie Moore.
Backed by three tireless touring musicians, whose articles of clothing came gradually unglued throughout the night, the grandfatherly lo-fi legend performed about two-and-a-half sets of lo-fi pop merged with noise rock, punk, metal, krautrock, avant-garde, and generally ranting into a microphone, telling the young’uns to shut up and listen. Between growling obscenities (“WTF! GTFO!”) and shouting out “all the bitches in the house,” Moore also described Eclectic as “the best crowd with the worst P.A. system ever.” If the P.A. malfunctioned, no one noticed. Moore’s music was too loose, too noisy, too weirdly infectious.
He left the stage twice—and was twice summoned back by fervent cheers. For the first encore, he picked absently at his guitar, moaned gibberish into the mic, pounded out chords on Eclectic’s horrific dining room piano, sounded a harmonica, and told his audience to shut up. (“Take a minute and stop your mouth. Except for breathing.”) His band joined him, and they launched into a mean, relentless stoner metal drone. Here came moshing and crowd-surfing. But when Moore sprawled flat on the stage, seemingly spent, his audience followed suit and sat down. Eventually he sat up, and his band pummeled through a destructive finale, threatening to smash their instruments and instead ditching the stage to the tune of a whirring feedback drone.
The crowd demanded more. Bizarrely, they came back, performing for another 15 minutes. The rest is a blur. The guitarist, half-naked, drifted aimlessly into the crowd. Moore stumbled off the stage and up the Eclectic staircase. His band kept playing. P-Safe showed up and told everyone to leave. Moore remained MIA. Someone shouted something about merchandise. I never found any merchandise.
I won’t forget this show soon.
Videos by me. Photos (in the order they appear) by me, Eric Lopez ’15, and Rachel Pincus ’13.