SANTA FE — Itchy-O was one of those concerts you find yourself thinking about weeks after it happened. At their March 25 show at Meow Wolf this Denver-area avant-garde band used its 30 - 40 members to maximum effect by completely mobbing our space.
The concert began in the parking lot with a drum core, synthesizers, flamethrowers and a freakin' Tesla coil that one of the members played with a keyboard. The band led a procession indoors shortly after, but Itchy-O doesn't treat concert venues the same way conventional musicians do.
Itchy-O really shines when they're working with performance and space. Their masked members were everywhere around the exhibit. You couldn't walk a few feet without running into one of them lurking through the crowd. If they weren't on the stage playing huge Taiko drums or shredding industrial-style guitar riffs atop a stack of speakers, they were roving through the exhibition with customized synthesizers, theremins, or megaphones. Veiled dancers dressed in flowing black robes brought home the Jodorowsky-esque magical vibes that characterize the band's otherworldly, hypnagogic presence.The sound was apocalyptic: you could close your eyes and picture planets crashing into each other.
The exhibit-spanning performance aspect was a fantastic maximalist addition to Itchy-O's music because it felt like there was no escape from them. It's been nearly a month and we haven't stopped talking about them around the office.
Hopefully it won't be too much longer before Itchy-O shows their black masked-faces around Santa Fe again. — Billiam
And thanks to guest Patrick Anderson for this great compilation video!