Friday, December 10, 2010 , Updated 4:54 p.m., December 11, 2010
UPDATED: Opulence: Fake Euro hip-hop stars LAZER haz it?
LAZER is all about getting laughs and shock value. It can be painful.
DALLAS There are some bands in the DFW area that take themselves seriously. They practice meticulously, putting each note, lyric, and melody in the right place. This is not the case for Fort Worth euro hip-hop band LAZER. These guys, who claim that they are the “favorite sons of Rhineland” – an area in Germany along the river Rhine – are anything but serious, as they freely demonstrated at Good Records Thursday night.
As fans and patrons entered the record store, our ears were filled with rap and hip-hop tracks blasting on the speakers from the band’s old iPod Nano. About 40 or 50 people, many of them loyal followers of LAZER, gathered as close as they could get to the green Astroturf-covered stage. I was a LAZER virgin. Why are so many people spending their Thursday watching six grown men pretend to be Eastern German hip-hop stars?
When LAZER hit the stage, the most loyal of fans went crazy, and for good reason: The band has been on a two-year hiatus and recently released their album Twatobahn after a five-year break in between records. But the fans weren’t there to hear the music; they were there to see one of the most profane stage shows I've ever personally witnessed.
Each band member was dressed in cartoonish clothing. The drummer, known as “The Shape-Shifter,” wore a motorcycle helmet on his head as he banged on his drum kit. Keyboardist “FutureSnake” wore a
dinosaur snake costume underneath a feminine pea coat and donned futuristic glasses that looked like they belonged to Geordi La Forge from Startrek. Guitarist “Ice von Shredula” wore a black ninja suit as he attempted to shred his bright yellow flying V Dean ML guitar. Bassist “CRT-2000” donned an old television set on his head, while lead singers “Briso” and “Hammel” wore giant gold chains with dollar signs on them. They One singer donned a bicycle helmet, blue track suit pants, and a blue Speedo underneath that could be seen often throughout the show (pants kept falling down). The other singer wore old red long johns, a purple turban, and a gold Venetian mask with a long nose.
Then there was the show, which was definitely more about the spectacle than the music. Lead singers Briso and Hammel would do anything within reason to shock the Good Records crowd. Aside from their raunchy lyrics and dirty jokes told in East German accents, the two lead singers dry humped one another and audience members, pantomimed anal sex with the microphones, and whipped a
girl guy onstage who was there for slave purposes. For a moment I thought they were pretending to whip her him, but red whip marks began to form not long after she he was hit.
To say that this band is dedicated is not enough. These guys completely change who they are onstage just for laughs and shock value. Unfortunately for them, this kind of performance art has an expiration date on it. We've seen shock and awe from artists like KISS, Alice Cooper, and Marilyn Manson. Even though their performance was more toned down than the aforementioned musicians, it still cheesy and cheap entertainment. If you like that sort of thing.