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A packed house at Harlow’s was infected Monday night.
Infected with dance fever, courtesy of !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk).
As the band members themselves tell it, when creating a name for the band they wanted something that stood out. They took the !!! from the African Bush language, which was a repetitive clicking sound made with the tongue and the roof of the mouth. The band left pronunciation up to your choosing; it was any three repetitive sounds (Bam Bam Bam, Pow Pow Pow, etc.) Over time the preferred pronunciation evolved into “Chk Chk Chk,” which is used by the band in things like the URL of its official website.
Monday’s show was a homecoming of sorts (the band formed in Sacramento in 1996 but now calls Brooklyn home), and the band opened the highly anticipated show with its single “AM/FM” off its current album, “Strange Weather, Isn’t It?,” and the party never stopped.
Showing off his legs in a tiny pair of shorts, vocalist Nic Offer was everywhere – flamboyantly dancing all over the place, jumping off stage and interacting with the audience – he was everywhere except behind the bar. It was apparent the band was having a great time playing for a hometown crowd, and the audience latched on to that energy and never left the musicians’ side.
“We only get nervous playing two places,” Offer said, “Sacramento and New York. You don’t want to suck in front of your friends!”
Most of the set was focused on “Strange Weather” (“Wannagain Wannagain,” “Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass,” “Hollow”), and the band also jumped back to other material, like 2007’s well-reviewed LP “Myth Takes,” playing tracks like “Must Be the Moon” and “Heart of Hearts.”
Offer was joined by a subdued Savannah Macias, the band’s other vocalist, but anyone would look subdued next to Offer.
Drummer Paul Quattrone kept the percussion choppy, and the beats worked seamlessly with the music’s synth elements, supplied by talented, multi-instrumentalists Dan Gorman and Allan Wilson. Sinewy bass lines provided by new bassist Rafael Cohen and guitar by Mario Andreoni rounded out the electro-dance sounds.
It was a great night of feverish dance music, and the high-energy performance lived up to the hype, leaving a sweaty crowd in it's wake. There was love in the house for !!!, and the feeling was mutual: “Sacto we love you! Still!”, said Offer at the end of the show.
Photos: Steven Chea