!!! (chkchkchk) at Bowery Ballroom

Post Author: Jeremy Krinsley

At a certain point in the night I had to stop taking pictures. !!! is the easiest thing to dance to since tequila, and I was missing out on an open bar. “Lead” singer Nic Offer: “How come everyone says New Yorkers just stand there and don’t dance? When we play a show you all move. What happens at other shows? Strange, huh?,” and with that, Offer shrugged his cocky shrug and re-commenced his stockpiled dance moves, a few of which possibly no one else has ever imagined. My favorite has him propping his arms out rigidly, hands horizontal, like a ballerina or a well-manered monkey, as he glides and undulates about the stage.

And you could call this the best disco wedding band this side of 1978. They have a lot of the right elements – along with two (and sometimes three) singers who could effortlessly distract the guests from the train wreck of honor heading on their honeymoon, the band’s got a watertight percussion section (no matter who in the band’s manning it at any given point), multi-instrumentalist horn/keyboardists, and two funk guitarists with chops. Now we need them to start practicing “How Deep Is Your Love?“.

Their own songs go a bit farther than the Bee Gees in pushing the bounds of what this instrument combo really can become, with the guitars spitting and skronking with strange loops and chopped up delay and distortion, Nic Offer and John Pugh disco-scatting oohs and eeks and guttural grunts between the lyric lines.

Said drummer, Jerry Fuchs, began the set by walking on alone, then slowly accelerating a rock line to light speed before slamming out a beat as the rest of the band slowly traipsed onstage. By the second full-band bar, Pugh had broken one of his drumsticks in half.

She launched into a doomed stage dive at one point that happened so fast everyone around sort of froze in terror. She didn’t really land on top of the crowd so much as on the ground, with some of the crowd under her. No matter. Everyone was too elated to notice and she was back on stage in moments.

Werewolf Pughs had some fun in the audience too.

It’s hard to compete with !!!’s adrenaline bomb, but Holy Fuck were the right band to open. With two tables full of effects pedals and busted keyboards, and a killer rhythm section, the band head bopped through a 70s kraut and psych set updated with the LCD/Klaxon crossover electro.