The theme of the night, like the name of their album, seemed to be tongue-in-cheek violence and bizarre imagery. At one point, a dude from the audience hopped onstage with a giant teddy bear and began dry-humping its fluffy little brains out. The band didn't miss a beat: one member joined in the mock gang bang, and the others kept on rolling as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile, girls in Bermuda shorts and Empire-waisted minidresses danced as if they were watching American Bandstand circa 1965. I was twice hit by tambourines the guitarist threw into the crowd. (I never imagined the soft jingle of tambourines would rise above the din, but ten or fifteen of them in the audience made a surprising-and pleasant-contribution.)
Supposedly it was someone's birthday and, therefore, cause for extra revelry, but I suspect shenanigans are a common occurrence at Child Bite shows. Regardless, these guys-and every-one else in the bar-were having a really good time. Though part of this spectacle was most definitely rehearsed (after all, these dudes weren't improvising), spontaneity reverberated as loudly as the finger-tingling noise coming from the amps. The ambience, like the music, marked a refreshing departure from the usual indie-rock show.
Child Bite headlines a show at the Elbow Room on Wednesday, March 11, and opens a show at the Blind Pig on Saturday, March 14.
[Originally published in March, 2009.]