Society of the Spectacle

Rocking The Body at the Target Center; teenage kicks at the Ave.

The dark-horse thrill of the night, though, was 12 Rods, maybe the least punk act of them all, yet the most ideologically similar to Flipp in terms of glam savvy. By this writer's estimation, they're the best live band in Minneapolis by a country mile, one that's able to translate an epic sound into onstage frenzies of busted drums and missing eyeglasses. Two or three mohawk kids sat on the main floor in bored protest, but for the most part, the Rods won over a potentially difficult crowd.

For the main event, Flipp ringmaster Brynn Arens debuted a headset mic, allowing the singer the freedom to work the crowd of "sick, crazy fuckers" (Flippspeak for "fans") with unprecedented vigor. If you've seen one Flipp show, you've seen 20, but this set did feature half-conceived Song Remains the Same-style fantasy sequences for each member of the band. Drummer Kilo Bale partook of his 5-foot bong, sci-fi bassist Freaky Useless strapped on rocket packs and enacted the musical climax from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and on and on and on.

But throughout the night, it was pretty damned weird to think that mosh pits and guitar-based punk still exist in any form in this pre-millennial year. The genre's perseverance must be attributed more than ever to the constantly rising postpubescent ranks who haven't experienced it before.

The glamorous life: That mindless, hedonistic, and contrived band called Flipp
The glamorous life: That mindless, hedonistic, and contrived band called Flipp

So it made sense that the winners of the teen band contest, One-Two Punch, were a familiar ska-thrash band that assailed the post-Flipp crowd with such timeless, pressing issues as moshing and "selling out." Ah, to be young, punk, and new to it all.

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