“This is a very, very blessed showwww… With some of the most beautiful folks we’ve ever knownnnn!” The crowd roared as Reptar’s Graham Ulicny made introductions with all the gusto of a circus ringmaster. He wasn’t kidding, either. With wildcard up-and-comers Future Heart and Alexander F opening, Reptar was in beautiful company.
Future Heart’s robust ensemble took whatever expectations you had about their first show ever and tossed them into a river of good vibes and creative energy. With two drum kits and even a xylophone for good measure, the 8-piece dove into percussive builds and calypso-turned-ska progressions that rapidly climaxed with a cowbell in tow. As Future Heart jammed, their sound toed the line between sunshine, 70s pop and James Bond chase scenes – which was as just groovy as it sounds.
Fronted by a shirtless version of Rubblebucket’s Alex Toth, Alexander F collectively showed us a dirty side that some fans clearly weren’t expecting. With all the shout-along “na na na”s and “yea yea yea”s the genre demands, their sound soared on psychedelic punk anthems like the standout “Coffee.” Using the ledge of the stage like a diving board, the band rushed headfirst into the crowd and started carving out mosh circles with their shoulders. But it wasn’t a true Knitting Factory show until Toth smeared on pink lipstick and screamed at us through a bouquet of flowers (fuck yeah he did).
The audience was sufficiently spastic by the time Reptar took the stage. Backed by stacked synths and a sleazy beat, Graham poured impassioned vocals over their spooky, 8-bit rock, while bringing out just the slightest growls in the vowels. Reptar affectionately fought off grabby hands from the youngest fans down in the crowd as the thrash of the drums made the kids forget their phones. It wasn’t long before they had the whole house jumping several feet in the air – and that was no shock at all during a show like that.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley