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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Man Man really rocked Congress Tuesday night


    Photo courtesy of Pitchfork

    On Tuesday night at Hotel Congress, experimental and indie rock band Man Man performed a concert along with their opener, Shilpa Ray. Both groups brought performances that were loaded with energy, heart and pleasant surprises.

    When opener Shilpa Ray stepped onto the stage, most of the crowd had not yet arrived. A four-piece band with an ordinary setup, many members of the audience might not have been expecting much. However, right out of the gate, Shilpa Ray immediately proved they were worth showing up early for.

    They absolutely blew the roof off.

    Every member of the Brooklyn-based band showed an immense amount of musical talent, heart and emotion. They made the most out of their abbreviated opening set, playing some sounds that were incredibly fast and deafening, and others that were more stripped back and relaxed. Some songs were drenched in misery, while others were incredibly uplifting.

    The group showed much promise and musical versatility, with members switching between instruments frequently. However, Ray, the leader of the band, stole the show. 

    She made use of her accordion-like instrument and keyboard on every single song. Her screaming and grunting voice that towered over every track they performed made the songs even louder and more intense and heavily engaged the audience. 

    She concluded their set in a noisy and dramatic fashion. It was an incredibly energizing opener, and they did a very good job preparing the excited crowd for what Man Man would bring.

    Man Man’s setup was rickety, fun and elaborate. Like the preview for the concert had anticipated, Man Man made the most of a very small space. 

    Club Congress includes a stage that is maybe half the size of an average classroom on campus, forcing whatever act that performs there to squeeze onto it, along with all their equipment. This was especially difficult for a band that has as much equipment as Man Man does.

    The open space for the audience is also very compact, squeezing in tables and chairs, with a bar in the rear. However, Man Man thrived, making the most of the compact space they were given to work with. 

    Moving their colorful instruments onto the stage, much of it worn, covered with neon designs and duct tape, they set the stage up themselves, returning later and breaking out with heaviness and energy that the crowd fed off of immediately.

    Members of the audience were jumping around, dancing, screaming and drenched in sweat. Throughout the performance, frontman Honus Honus captivated the crowd. Standing at the very edge of the unguarded stage, he encouraged the excited audience to interact with him. Screaming, shouting and grunting, he had an incredible amount of energy and emotion in his voice.

    He also frequently changed outfits, pounced around the stage and jammed out on his keyboard, even during the more relaxed songs. The rest of the band showed an impressive amount of talent. 

    Every member of the group was familiar with multiple instruments, switching between guitar, bass, keyboard, horns and more, with a rich setlist full of new and old songs to satisfy everybody who came to see them. All of this combined to create a fantastic sound and an adrenaline-fueled performance that any rock fan could enjoy.

    Both Man Man and Shilpa Ray put on shows that were more than worth seeing. Their performances were explosive, energetic, moving and exciting. 

    Even with a small space and a small crowd, they created an incredible atmosphere and an evening to remember. Be sure to catch Man Man or Shilpa Ray at their future tour dates. You won’t want to miss it.

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