Monday, April 03, 2006

Live Review: Gil Mantera's Party Dream@Metro 3/30/06

Supposedly two brothers from Youngstown, OH, Gil Mantera and his bandmate “Ultimate Donny” are two very strange dudes. If they are actually brothers, they must have been dropped on the head a lot as babies, or mom let them eat a few too many paint chips. Watching them open up for Art Brut last Thursday at Metro, I was completely dumbfounded by their look, their music and their stage persona. The best description that I can come up with is that they’re like combination of bad late 70’s arena rock, cheesy 80’s soundtrack pop and maybe a dash of 90’s Euro-dance schlock. Despite all of these painfully awful influences from which they obviously draw from, nothing about their performance seemed ironic or overly tongue-in-cheek. Seemingly oblivious to any sort of kitsch factor, Ultimate Donny sang his heart out and Gil danced his ass off as if he was, in fact, rocking out in his very own party dream. I don’t think that their music really stands up on its own (in fact, some of it is downright awful), but I have to admit, their live show is pretty damn amusing…mostly in a baffling WTF?? kind of way, but still amusing nonetheless. Case in point, toward the end of their set, Gil sings a solo drum machine-backed version of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac using a vocoder and proceeds to strip to his underwear in the process. Later in the song, he’s joined by Donny, who also strips to his skimpies. The whole thing was completely asinine, but instead of rolling my eyes and leaving for the bar, I’m captivated by the musical train wreck and can’t look away. I don't know...maybe they're just on a lot of drugs, or maybe they are really a little "special," but whatever the case, Gil Mantera's Party Dream are a trip and (for better or worse)this was easily one of the most entertaining shows I've seen in quite some time. Lots more pics of the Party Dream in the Live Photo Archive (click on "view as as slide show" for best results)


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