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Manhattan Murder Mystery at the Bootleg on Monday April 18th, 2011

Manhattan Murder Mystery’s music is something very special that may captivate all your neurons with their drunk post-punk anthems, fast rhythmic, head-bouncing-feet-tapping bursting loud songs, sung by a crazy helmet-wearing frontman, acting as if he did not care for anything (not even for the public) but for the songs he is yelling, playing as if it was his last day on earth.

The band was playing at the Bootleg theater on Monday night, and I was happy to see them live for the first time, as I had read about the intensity of their live shows; I was not disappointed.

I guess Matthew Teardrop wears this army helmet because each show is a battle for him, a battle he fights till the end, although he dropped his helmet after the first song, kneeled down a few times and fell from the stage, but didn't give up till he was done. The music was violent and raw and it was quite impossible to stay indifferent in front of so much visceral energy and conviction.

The trio (but their members vary as I have seen videos with more people on stage) was also joined by a fourth person on banjo for a song, and played these powerful tunes like ‘Ambulance’, ‘Parking Lot’ and other songs from their EP ‘Skull’, with a rarely seen blowing-up-the-roof energy, combined with these sing-along choruses that people in the audience were shouting, barely covering Teardrop’s raucous voice though. There were definitively many sonic hooks and catchy melodies, delivered with so much rage and exploding right in your face, that it was very difficult to resist.

Iman said they were Velvet Underground influenced, and I can totally hear it, although I’ve never seen The VU live, and would assume Lou Reed to be a much more contained individual. Live, they could be an alcohol fueled E Street band, and since we are talking influences, I read somewhere that Matthew Teardrop doesn't care much for Bob Dylan but has confessed preferring Warren Zevon!

The Bootleg theater is a very dark place so it was hard to follow each of Teardrop’s impetuous moves but when he dropped from stage at the end of the never ending ‘Parking Lot’, he played in the middle of the public, and then disappeared from sight when the song was over,… and he was definitively all gone.


 

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