Here, in the live setting, the songs that comprise “Bleeder” suddenly come to full fruition, with the anthemic “Sweet Ivy” and the following “1000 Mile Stare” especially played in glorious renditions that see Brodsky collapsing onto the floor and delivering a tapped solo lying on his back. All throughout the man looks every bit the mad genius he is reputed to be, all bulging eyes and snapping amusing remarks in between the songs (e.g. when Cageao’s bass strap tears during “Friday the 13/8”, Brodsky addresses this with the words, ”Is the strap-on fixed? How are we going to fuck without the strap-on?”, or when he introduces Koller as the man ”from at least 7000 other bands, beating the foreskins for like an hour, ripping the wood like nobody could.”). Koller and Cageao, too, look to be in high spirits, the former customarily veiled by his own hair yet wildly energetic, the latter a constant whirlwind of rocking out and providing countless examples of his own technical prowess (something that was not as easy to determine whilst listening to the album).
This is Mutoid Man’s first time in Denmark, so Brodsky insists on taking a moment ”to appreciate the wonderment and awesomeness off [our] Piss Vortex” — praise like candy to a Dane’s ears — before ripping out “Sacriledge” and “Scrape the Walls”, the latter of which finds Brodsky and Cageao exchanging instruments mid-song, and the humorous antic of the former taping his mouth shut with gaffa tape and then attempting to scream the lyrics. This is one of those concerts where one would have to be a statue to avoid smiling, yet at the same time, Mutoid Man are not simply pulling the leg. Fun they like to have, which tends always to be a bonus in my book, but none of the ridiculousness compromises the authenticity or integrity of their music, which in itself is well written and complex enough to maintain your undivided attention. All of the three musicians are experts at their tradecraft, with Koller allowed a ludicrous amount of liberty to do his thing, Cageao running his fingers through licks almost as liquid as Brodsky’s melodies, and Brodsky himself showing his breathtaking range of vocals more than once (most prominently in an excellent cover of The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” near the end of the set).
As “Gnarcissist” concludes the festivities at the end of an encore then, it is hard to imagine anyone leaving this concert grumpy. It is a rare delight to witness a band as enamoured by playing music as Mutoid Man; the sheer enthusiasm of these three gentlemen is impossibly contagious, and even though a more raucous audience could have transformed this into a magical evening, the trio does more than enough to mark their concert as one of the best in 2015 yet. Here’s hoping for a swift return.