Friday, May 27, 2011

Kiev & Menomena at Samueli Theater

Stepping onto the Samueli Theater premise offered a different atmosphere than the average bar most local bands tend to play. Pristine lawns, beautiful architecture, and the clean lines of modern sculptures greeted the crowd before they ever set foot inside the performing arts center to watch Kiev and Menomena for the first show of the Indie Band series.

Inside the reception area, guests gathered, with over 400 attendees grabbing their pair of 3-D glasses from Kiev’s merchandise booth before the visual extravaganza began. Through the doors and into the theater, lights were dim, drawing all focus to the massive projection screen placed on the wall behind the modest platform stage. After greeting their fans, Kiev synched in with the 3-D projections. Lead vocalist, Robert Brinkerhoff, played with the crowd, asking, "Is it in 3-D? Did we bring the 3-D?" For the next 40 minutes, the crowd stared, dumbfounded by the twisting, jagged, politically driven, bursts of light and color built in layers, swirling to the beat of each song. At one point, Brinkerhoff, appeared to have a silver shape like a drill bit spinning into, though, and past his head. The most inspiring moment was during Kiev’s cover of Paul Simon’s song, “Can’t Run But,” in which the audience witnessed recorded 3-D close-ups of each member playing their instrument in rhythm to the track, all while the members played live in perfect timing.

By 10:00, Menomena had hooked in their many instruments, and the four members finally took their place on stage. Bass, guitar, vocalist, and baritone sax player, Justin Harris joked with the crowd, apologizing for not having a 3-D show of their own. Despite the evident passion of the members, the interesting combination of layered sounds, and the amazing drummer who also picked up lead vocals from time to time, Menomena was still not quite captivating enough to overthrow the adrenaline Kiev produced early on. As Menomena finished up a little before 12:00, the final third of the crowd snapped their final pictures, stole set lists from the stage, and dumped their 3-D glasses off before they walked out the door.

Set List:



Five Little Rooms

Muscle N’ Flow


E Is Stable

Queen Black Acid

Strongest Man in the World


Twenty Cell Revolt



Dirty Cartoons

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