The World/Inferno Friendship Society recently started their US tour supporting their new album, The Anarchy and The Ecstasy, with sci-fi-psychobilly (psy-fi?) band, The Phenomenauts. You could not ask for a better show!
I haven't given The Phenomenauts a decent listen, despite the praise I've heard about them and their performance over the years. This would be my first real exposure to them, and let me say: they did not disappoint. I arrived just in time to catch the group harboring matching uniforms like they came straight out of Buck Rogers (a friend of mine described them as the kind of band you'd see playing at Tomorrowland) and a rambunctious crowd. The floor wasn't packed, but there were enough people dancing along to fill the room with enough energy for a full house. The show involved shooting toilet paper into the crowd, having the audience kneel down and all jump at the precise moment, and the dry-ice fog effect. It was an entertaining show at the very least.
Next, the wait began for World/Inferno Friendship Society. It wasn't long. The lights dimmed and the dance floor was flooded with ladies and gents dressed in their Sunday's best. The band walked out to the tumbling beats of Mora Precarious. Frontman, Jack Terricloth, greeted the crowd and lead the Infernites through the old track, “Tattoos Fade.” However, it was during the two-step number, “Paul Robeson,” that the building really began to rumble. There's a freedom that comes with World/Inferno shows that allows fans to dance as openly as they want and not feel out of place. Everyone was moving their feet and raising their hands as they shouted, “Speak up! Black out! Blacklisted! Full-blooded red!” They followed it up with, “I Am Sick of People Being Sick of My Shit”--the opening track to their newest album, The Anarchy and The Ecstasy. To counter the slow, thumping, nature of that song, they went into the fan-favorite, “Thumb Cinema,” before taking it back to, “Lust For Timing,” from their first album, The True Story of the Bridgewater Astral League.
World/Inferno went on to try some more tracks from their new album, including: “The Apple Was Eve,” “The Disarming Smile,” and “The Politics of Passing Out.” Following “The Politics...,” Jack Terricloth did an impromptu performance of the 30 second track, “Please My Favorite Don't Be So Sad,” while Frank Morin switched guitars due to a broken string. I could not have been more pleased as “Please My Favorite...” is one of my favorite tracks from Red Eyed Soul. Before the show went on, Terricloth took a moment to talk to the audience and tell us how much we “stink”--both literally and noting previous electeds. The band then jumped into, “All of California and Everyone Who Live There Stink.”
As we began to reach the end of the show, the audience was offered a chance to choose a song to hear. Terricloth picked someone from the crowd and bassist, Sandra Malak, to come to a decision. The result was the anthemic, “Only Anarchists Are Pretty.” Half the crowd swayed while the other half huddled arm-in-arm in the back in a huge circle and danced together. It's a wonderful sight to see fans come together and be so open together whether they know each other or not.
The band stepped off the stage and we called them back. They came back and played another personal favorite of mine, one they claimed to not have done on the tour yet--”Heart Attack '64.” The waltzing number begs for partnering up. I found my partner while others found their partners. Some with strangers and some with friends. We all waltzed despite the small amount of room to do so. The Inferno closed the show with Red Eyed Soul closer, "So Long to the Circus."
Up to this point, the crowd has been in incredibly high spirits and there hasn't been bullshit...but there's always one. An attendant, presumably drunk, attempts to start a fight with Terricloth, however, the frontman keeps his cool and just toys with the show-goers antics. The band finished the night and bowed out. It was a great show from one of punk's best kept secrets. If you have the opportunity to catch World/Inferno in town, I suggest you do not miss it. Just be sure not to forget your ties and dancing shoes at home. It's more than just a show, it's a gathering of people looking to be themselves, let loose, and party like it's 1927.
World/Inferno Friendship Society Dates: 10/9/2011 Tucson AZ Club Congress * 10/11/2011 Denver CO Larimer Lounge 10/13/2011 St. Louis MO The Firebird 10/14/2011 Chicago IL Reggie’s Rock Club 10/15/2011 Pittsburgh PA Smiling Moose 10/16/2011 Amherst NY The Forum 10/28/2011 New York NY Irving Plaza ^ 10/29/2011 Pawtucket RI The Met ^ 10/31/2011 Philadelphia PA Union Transfer ^ * = w/ The Phenomenauts ^ = Hallowmas Show