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all photos: Milica Wren
all words: Megan Burns

Let me preface this review by saying Friday night was the very first time I’d heard anything by the Handsome Furs, Dri, or the Cinnamon Band, so I had no expectations whatsoever going into the show. I got to the Black Cat in time to see a little of the Cinnamon Band, and I have to say, for being just two people they have an impressively large sound. They successfully created the illusion of being a much larger band, and played to the crowd as though it was a much larger audience.

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Next up was Dri. I have to say, as far as my personal listening taste goes, and keeping in mind I’d heard none of these bands before Friday night, this one was sonically my favorite act. Adrianne Verhoeven was full of energy and the songs all exuded warmth and good vibes. And since Verhoeven dropped the f-bomb every chance she got, I think it’s probably fitting that I give Dri a “Fuck yeah!” for the performance.
Now that we’ve reached a halfway point, I’d just like to pause momentarily to appreciate the dance machine who was standing in front of me for the first half of the concert. Somehow I always end up standing by eccentric characters at these things, and Friday was no exception. His short epileptic dance bursts were both terrifying and amusing, and he seemed capable of playing a variety of air instruments. I don’t know who he was, I just know that he was a buzzing mass of cargo pants and eyeglasses and I hope to one day see him on So You Think You Can Dance.

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And now on to the dynamic duo everyone was waiting for, the Handsome Furs. Did I mention it was the couple’s two year wedding anniversary? Everything they did was so effing cute, which kind of threw me for a loop…sonically there is nothing cute about the duo. But they couldn’t take their eyes off one another the entire set, and Alexei seemed unable to stop ruffling Dan’s hair. Cuteness aside for a moment, the couple had a great stage presence and both were full of energy. Dan vibrated around the stage while Alexei stomped along behind the drum machine. In between songs the band showed off a good sense of humor, even dedicating one of their numbers to David Carradine in light of the recent media attention surrounding Michael Jackson’s death.

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Towards the end of the set, Alexei yelled that this anniversary signified the year of cotton for them, and that she wanted everyone to throw their shirts on stage as a gift. At that exact moment, the other tour members emerged from backstage and gave her a bouquet of flowers. Not exactly a barrage of cotton t-shirts, but a thoughtful gift nonetheless. Clearly in shock, her reaction was priceless. She decided to throw the flowers like a wedding bouquet, and Dan added that whoever caught them would get leprosy. I didn’t get a good look at the newest addition to the leper colony, but I could see he/she was vigorously fist pumping for the rest of the show. Overall, it was a great way to spend a Friday night, and it was definitely the best two year anniversary party I’ve ever been to.

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