by Matt De Mello
I’ve made no bones about the fact that I am no big fan of electronic music. I find it to be fairly monotonous and similar to everything everyone else is doing. I know it isn’t the most open minded approach, but I am nothing if not stagnant in my ways. That is, however, before I encountered Shout Out Out Out Out on Saturday at midnight at Thee Parkside in San Francisco. Thee Parkside is a dive bar with a stage. I don’t think I’m saying anything unseemly about the establishment, it’s a great place for a small show, but it is in the middle of nowhere.
I got there and there were maybe 15 people in the bar various forms of drunkards and hipsters with some overlap. I got the feel that his was the type of place a biker could get some cheap booze and this was even before a group of Hell’s Angels surrounded my car as I drove home later (they were very nice, as all Hell’s Angels are, and I’m pretty sure they just wanted to see that I got home safely). The band set up while metal, I’m fairly certain it was Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, played and proved that this may be the only place where an electro-pop band can play while metal is blared at an alarmingly loud level.
They finally set up and started playing and again the music was obnoxiously loud, not the style, but the sound. A number of people remarked at the sheer level of the music, but many of us were swayed by the bands ambitious sounds. There are many ways to describe the sound, but instead of going into various different explanations of my thoughts I will instead described them all together so as to confound you further.
Shout Out Out Out Out are Daft Punk, Isao Tomita and Erasure. They were electric, pun intended, and they gave the kind of small performance that many people didn’t expect. I didn’t at least. I thought I would be writing about a band that was like every other electro pop band out there. Instead, I saw the beginning of a new wave. This little Canadian band, begotten from the Daft Punk tree of life has opened my eyes to a wave of electro music that I can get behind. It was funky and people were dancing. There was even a guy in a 1970’s style powder blue tuxedo.
They played like they enjoyed it, like this is what they were meant to do their entire lives and from the various robot sounds coming from the Moog it may just be. They danced, sang (sort of, it was very synthesized and robotic, but very cool) and even had high leg kicks a la Freddie Mercury or a cheerleader. When I saw Imagine Dragons last year at the Independent I had the feeling that seeing them in such a small setting would be a treat that never would happen again. They’re playing the Warfield in a few weeks. I get that same feeling from this band. They’re fun, determined and talented. This night in front of a total of maybe 40 people (more showed up, magically when they started playing), we were treated to a band that is destined for greatness. Being small was fun while it lasted.