A Synthpop, Talk Singing, Industrial Night of Love and PBR Draft

Wednesday’s show at the Milestone was terrific! I’m not the best at concert reviews. I go to shows for edification and entertainment, not as a reporter. I like to stay present in the moment, to give as much attention I can to the performers, so I don’t do well keeping track of details. When I see something great, though, I want to let people know.

Crunk Witch were fantastic, as always. I think I’ve told everyone I know over and over already, but if you get the chance to see them live, DO  IT. Few groups come close to the all-out fun and genuine showmanship they continually bring. They are super nice and exceptionally charming and gracious, too.

During their set, frontman Brandon Miles started a monologue about telling the people in your life how you feel. He wound up passing the mic to David Kinsel in the crowd. David told everyone how he and his girlfriend were big Crunk Witch fans… and then he asked his girlfriend, Krys, to marry him. She said yes. Actually, she said, “fuck yeah.” It was a really sweet moment. 

Height Keech was a surprise. I wasn’t very familiar with him, but he totally won me over. He’s sort of a rapper, but more a “talk singer.” I found his set full of real emotion and inspiration. Songs like “Mind Moves the Mountain” and “Bring Your Soul to the Function” gives you an idea what he’s about.

Gavin Riley played percussion with Height, adding to the raw sound of their performance. Before that, he had his own set as Gavin Riley Smoke Machine. I was curious how he’d do a live show, as I’d checked him out online and watched a few videos from his somewhat trippy “interactive rap app” Space Needle Mystery, a “choose your own adventure” type musical game. Using a projector, he showed a video while rapping, then let the audience choose the course of action, leading to the next video. It was a decidedly different kind of act. Very engaging.

Human Pippi Armstrong is a favorite local performer of mine, a real spectacle. DJ Michael Price described him as kind of a cross between Wesley Willis and Devo. He’s not far off. Last time Ashley and I saw him, he had some equipment issues (and STILL put on a great show). Everything was working well this night.  

It heard it was IIOIOIOII’s first live show, but it wasn’t exactly evident. He might have appeared a little unsure of himself on stage — something he’ll likely overcome with more live experience — but the music was well produced and impressive. Nice lights, too. IIOIOIOII drew a good crowd of folks from Charlotte’s industrial scene.

The whole night was an extraordinary experience. Not unusual for a night at the Milestone. I’m amazed we can see acts like this — 5 on one bill! — for a low $7.00 cover. Add to that being in the company of some of the nicest, most positive people you could ever hope to be around, like sound man Dane Abernathy and Milestone owner Jonathan Hughes. It’s a lucky life I have, and Charlotte’s lucky to have places like the Milestone Club to bring such fine art and entertainment here. Get over and support them. 

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