Somewhere around June, I heard from both a friend and from their official Facebook page that Ninja Sex Party, one of my absolute favorite comedy and music acts of the decade, was coming to Kansas City for the first time. The one thing keeping me from running out and buying tickets right away was that the previously mentioned friend beat me to it, and offered to take me and others to the show.
Musically speaking, I believe the YouTuber known as Todd in the Shadows put it best: the 2010s was a mistake. Musically, this was the decade that gave us such audible atrocities as the dubstep genre, the mainstreaming of indie while still insisting on calling itself indie, the rise of the ukulele and that really obnoxious accent everybody uses when they want to sound like Imagine Dragons, the advent of “trap”, the rise and fall of “bro country”, the rock genre being handed over to the Swedes because American acts like Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, and Pop Evil are seriously the best America can do (according to Kansas City radio anyway)… Hell, the only GOOD things that came out of the 2010s, as far as music goes, is a toss up between “djent”, and Ninja Sex Party. And for the sake of this ranting raving lunacy I’m calling a concert review, I’m going to say NSP was definitely the best.
NSP has been around since at least 2009, but I personally didn’t hear about them until 2015. By then, they had two albums in the bucket, and were in the process of pimping their recently released third album, “Attitude City”, everywhere they could. While I arrived to the party late, the important thing is the party was still happening, and about three years later (give or take), I got to see them live. And at The Midland of all places. By KC standards, you know you’ve arrived when you play a venue like The Midland. It’s not the arena KC folk affectionately call “The Amphitheater Formerly Known as Sandstone”, but it’s definitely up there.
This was a show that was just nonstop. As a metal guy, I’m used to there being pauses in between bands while the roadies tune up their instruments and make sure the amps haven’t exploded yet. But I guess when keytars and drum machines are your instruments, there’s very little tuning that needs to be done. The closest thing to a breather the audience got was Tupperwear Remix Party’s over-indulgent ten minutes of blue light and repetitive noise. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The show opened with a group I’d never even heard of until that night: a little act known as Booty Patrol. And that right there is another aspect of the 2010s: the rise in popularity of buttcheeks. I hesitate to say I don’t get it, largely because there was a time in my life where I myself would’ve probably considered myself an ass guy. Still, this obsession that the 2010s inflicted on us as a people… Well, there IS such a thing as too much of a good thing, you know.
Booty Patrol is a group of people who take this cultural fascination, and crank it to eleven. Their set design, according to a friend, even included a butt-shaped disco ball. Their set was short, but it was an enjoyable act. As much as I love to support local, independent, or even just favorite musicians, though, I couldn’t bring myself to buy any of their merchandise on the grounds that walking around with a shirt reading “Booty Patrol” is just asking for an ass kicking from some ultra uptight MeToo type.
TWRP came up next. I’ve seen these guys live before, and my only real complaint about their performance is the previously mentioned intro. For TEN STRAIGHT MINUTES!, the stage is empty, the lights are blue, and all you hear is this extremely repetitive beat. If this is part of the joke… Honestly, it’s more tedious than funny.
However, aside from that bit, TWRP put on a great show. Basically, TWRP is the unholy love child of Saturday morning cartoons and Daft Punk. For some, that’s plenty. For the rest, all I can say is check them out when they come to your town.
And of course, there was the main event of the evening: Ninja Sex Party. This was well worth the wait.
NSP was part concert, part epic battle between the team of NSP and TWRP against the evil Lasersaurus. It was a spectacle that rivaled such epic stage battles as Tenacious D facing off against the dreaded Beelzaboss.
Other highlights included audience members performing The Cool Patrol Dance during the performance of their song “Cool Patrol”, a slow piano rendition of their classic song “Dinosaur Laser Fight”, and of course, my current favorite song of theirs, “Danny Don’t You Know”.
The show overall, regardless of who was playing on stage, was deadest on assuring the audience that they were all beautiful in their own way, and that the power of positivity will overcome all the naye sayers and what not. I’m not saying I’m against this message (far from it), but man, I am SOOO not used to this sort of thing. There’s a lot of factors adding in to that feeling of weirdness.
A. I was born out in Western Kansas. AKA, Catholic country. One of the first things you learn out there, even if you aren’t Catholic, is shame. Probably another reason why I didn’t want to get a Booty Patrol shirt.
B. I was a child of the 90s, and a lot of the popular music of the time was stuff like Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana. Not exactly upbeat cheerful music.
C. The majority of my high school years were spent hanging around metal heads. As I’ve said countless times: metal heads hate everything. Including, but not limited to, other metal heads.
Basically, I’m not hardwired to think positively and have pride in myself. I’m not ASHAMED of myself, mind you, but I’m not exactly popping out of a paper mashay egg, waving a purple flag, and hugging everyone in arm’s reach or anything, either.
I’m not sure if this is the 2010s assuring people that shame is an obsolete concept, or if this is all part of the loud and angry fuck you we hand out to Donald Trump on a regular basis… Although Danny of NSP did basically include the phrase “fuck politics” in his intro to “Danny Don’t You Know”.
If there was one regret I have about the entire show, it was probably not being able to hit the merch stand after NSP left the stage. And that’s as far as I’m going to get into that tangent, because it was an awesome show, and I’m not going to let petty things like where someone decided to park get in the way. Would’ve been nice to snag one of those exclusive copies of the new NSP album, though. Or even a T-shirt.
Yeah, I won’t buy a shirt reading “Booty Patrol”, but I’ll totally buy a shirt reading “Ninja Sex Party”. I’m sure there’s a double standard in there for some, but really, the term Ninja Sex Party leaves more to the imagination. Also, I only had enough money for one.
NSP in KC was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in my life. I can’t remember the last time I came home with no voice, sweating like a fountain, and proud of it. I really hope they come back to KC soon.