To Hell with Icky Blossoms and friends
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 12:10
It’s one thing to dress up like Sexy Sax Man Sergio Flores for Halloween – but to pull off the look and also be able to play the steamy, classic sax lick to George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” puts you on a higher plane of amazingness.
Yes, Slowdown was all sorts of bats in the belfry Saturday night as colorful costumes, inarguably good-hearted energy and freaked out music took place in a Halloween dance party to remember. Icky Blossoms, InDreama, Plack Blague and Places We Slept performed in the “Freaks of the Night” costume and dance party, but there was more reason to celebrate other than it being Halloween weekend.
The show also served as a release party for InDreama’s new self-titled album, which was put out by Team Love Records. And it only seemed fitting that Icky Blossoms would headline, since InDreama’s Nik Fackler is in both bands. Also, Icky Blossoms tend to bring the freaks out of the shadows.
Due to prior obligations, I arrived fashionably late to the shindig. Fortunately, I was able to catch the last three tunes from InDreama’s set. I had yet to see these folks live and I finally got a dose – which could almost be translated psychedelically – of this musical project. The sounds went off in every direction, all while drowning me in loud, beautiful noise. Usual structure was somewhere to be found, but everything sort of swirled together in a wild mixture. Sadly, it had to end too quickly for me, but thankfully these folks will see another day.
Throughout the entirety of the set break I could faintly hear the famous saxophone melody of “Careless Whisper,” and I immediately knew that someone had to have dressed up as Sexy Saxophone Man Sergio Flores. I spotted the mystery man after a few minutes of wandering around the venue, gave a knowing nod of respect and made my way up to the front of the stage to get in good photo position for the Icky set.
While waiting for the upcoming performance, an audience-judged costume contest took place on stage. Oddly, the Sexy Sax Man wasn’t present. Perplexed, I quietly observed the judging. I have to admit, some seriously clever and thorough costumes were in the house that night. From a couple doing Sonic the Hedgehog and Doctor Robotnik to a guy donning a near-perfect wacky-inflatable-waving-arms-tube-man get up, there were tons of great references presented very professionally.
Going down the line of contestants, a gal wearing all black with her face made up like Giambi from Pee Wee’s Playhouse had undoubtedly earned the loudest cheers from the crowd. It wasn’t until then that – who would have guessed – that Sexy Sax Man Sergio Flores screamed for me to get out of his way so he could stereotypically crash the costume contest. He ended up making the final cut, and when it came down to a showdown between him and Giambi, his pure, sexual aura – on top of him repeatedly playing the “Careless Whisper” lick – dominated the day. Icky Blossoms member Derek Pressnall confidently awarded the Sax Man the $50 bar tab top prize.
After all of the ridiculous hubbub, the thought of an Icky Blossoms set seemed to be a little overshadowed, personally. But the band certainly has their way with Omaha, and when their chaotic synth attack commenced, the whole bar spilled onto the dance floor and went absolutely and collectively nuts. Although the venue was only about half full, the dance floor presence made it feel like a packed house.
I’m not familiar with the names of the Icky Blossoms' discography, so don’t ask me for a set list; but the band went through their usual rounds that I’ve become accustomed to hearing live. I often found myself getting lost in a trance-like groove when I should have been shooting photos.
People behind me, due to excessive dancing repeatedly pressed me up against the front of the stage. The sometimes-blinding light show added another layer of psychedelic craziness. The set was on such a level that I was left bewildered when it was all said and done – which is what one should always hope for when seeing great live music. I cannot stress the level of energy achieved during every Icky Blossoms show. At the end, I was left hungry for more.
With the evening antics, this show felt like much more than a concert. With the drinks flowing, costumes showing and merriment abound, it really felt like a house party with nothing but good friends attending. Another refreshing factor was watching a local group command the masses with so much ease. Bands like InDreama and Icky Blossoms are injecting Omaha’s music scene with a new sense of life that is fantastic to behold. In a time where I’m always reading or hearing that Omaha crowds aren’t getting into it, it’s awesome to see some hometown people draw so much attention and energy. The night was a winning situation on basically every account.