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Live Review: STRFKR @ 9:30 Club — 4/20/24

Has society overused the word “trippy?” I feel like maybe it’s fallen out of fashion lately? But then how else to describe the recent performance of STRFKR at 9:30 Club as anything other than trippy? Well, it also was a feel good, lighthearted, and dance-inducing experience.

But mostly it was trippy.

STRFKR, a neo-psychedelic collective led by frontman Joshua Hodges, visited 9:30 Club on April 20 for a concert spotlighting a new album — Parallel Realms, published by Polyvinyl Records in March.

Early in the show, STRFKR performed “Together Forever” from Parallel Realms. The swirly electronic number is a smooth jam that oddly calls the object of the narrator’s affection “shorty.” STRFKR like to be a bit subversive. You can see that for yourself in the video for “Together Forever,” which features odd robed figures with globes walking around the seaside.

Watch the official music video for “Together Forever” by STRFKR on YouTube:

Hey now, so remember not so long ago that we were calling STRFKR trippy? And so, versions of those robed figures came to the front of the stage to dance awkwardly to the beat while confetti cannons fired paper at the audience in the sold-out club as the band jammed the night away. It was a pretty busy stage with the dancers and all of the band members, and the clutter just added to the drippiness.

STRFKR’s new album continued to win hearts throughout the show. The crowd had a big reaction to “Lot of Nice Things,” a song the band added to the setlist just after the midpoint. And in a widely embraced encore, the band played “Interspace 3,” a soothing recent entry into a series of Interspace instrumentals that made everyone mellow.

Given that this was a sold-out show, of course fans were there to hear “the old stuff,” which has a great deal in common with “the new stuff.” Among the songs to receive a big reaction from the crowd were “Kahlil Gibran” and “Golden Light” from Miracle Mile (2013), both very chill songs although the first felt a bit invigorating while the second felt more like letting go.

About one-third through the show, STRFKR performed the enduring “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” from their debut self-titled record (2008), ad it remains among the most anticipated of the STRFKR songs. The audience immediately lit up at the recognizable opening notes of the song. And while STRFKR are by no means a singalong band, some folks softly chanted along to the tune while they shuffled their feet.

After a whole show by STRFKR, you won’t question their trippy bonafides, but they surely took it to the next level or me with a very trippy cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (penned by the late Robert Hazzard). STRFKR recorded their dense cosmic cover for their album Jupiter (2009), and it has remained a staple of their sets since then. It is a great example of a band taking something really outside of their wheelhouse and yet somehow rendering it there own, even thought it has more words than the typical STRFKR number.

STRFKR keep on touring throughout the year! Take a trip with these cosmic cowboys.

Here a few photos of STRFKR performing at 9:30 Club on April 20, 2024.


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