Hunx and His Punx at Triple Rock, 3/27/12

Hunx and His Punx
With Heavy Cream
Triple Rock Social Club, Mineapolis
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

View a slideshow from the concert here.

Seth "Hunx" Bogart's live antics walk a line as thin as his pencil mustache. He's a provocative, openly gay guy who does his best to make an audience squirm with dirty come-ons and thrusts of his pelvis into audience members' faces -- and yet his bratty charm is one of the most magnetic out there. During Tuesday's early evening show at Triple Rock, he and his band of Punx laid down an efficient set of garage rock material that pulled somewhat from the brand-new Hairdresser Blues.

After the album's title track, the band crushed through the candy-coated love farce "Private Room." With its clever plays on cliche verses ("I know this night won't last forever, but we could make it last all night"), the song relied on its charming refrain ("Private room, yeah yeah yeah") to avoid sounding too cynical -- but that would not be the case in-between."I feel like we're playing in a cafeteria," Bogart said when the noise had ceased from their wig-covered amplifiers. Indeed, it was still light out, and the all-ages crowd had a decidedly youthful mix. 

Hunx and His Punx at Triple Rock, 3/27/12
Photo by Steve Cohen

The raw female energy was far more pronounced during Heavy Cream's opening set of gutter punk and cherry bombs. Even if Bogart is filled with whimsy in his own performance, he always brings a fiery opener on the road. (Last year, it was the Coathangers.) After watching Jessica McFarland mope, hiss, and swing her dark locks and torn stockings in increasingly vigorous patterns like an Iggy or a Karen, the crowd was inspired to begin a mini mosh pit. Plenty of attitude should be contained within the Ty Segall-produced Super Treatment, coming in May.

Our lovely Hunx began the evening wearing a glossy red coat lined with a spotted animal print that would look great on 101 Dalmations' Cruella de Vil. His backing ensemble opted for tight, black leather -- and drummer Erin Emslie's hair rose close to a foot above her head -- but they played just as loosely as their frontman desired. Even if the look is Raveonettes-ish, this output was accompanied by Hunx's broken tambourine and a nasal voice he was happy to let break at particularly emo moments in songs like "Let Me In." He pranced along with his admittedly great legs, and had picked his favorite targets in the crowd for a little playful abuse early on.

Hunx and His Punx at Triple Rock, 3/27/12
Photo by Steve Cohen

As expected, the interactions onstage between songs are theater themselves. At one point, Hunx grabbed a guitar pick near bassist Shannon Shaw's feet. She yelled, "That's mine!" And he replied dismissively, "I need it." Even more pronounced was his need for attention from the crowd, and when he tossed the red coat aside, he was left with a cropped Bikini Kill tee and some stockings that did little to mask his anatomical features. "I don't have a penis," he confided to the crowd. "I stuff." Perhaps only a few of the "lucky" ones in the front row who got a faceful of his crotch will know if that's true, but the rest of us still got a full-frontal artistic experience.

Critic's Notebook

Personal bias: The last time I witnessed Hunx was in Miami, and they were wearing all-gold ensembles.

The crowd: Knew the songs.

Random detail: One of Bogart's targets for some friendly abuse turned out to be our photographer Steve Cohen.

Hunx and His Punx at Triple Rock, 3/27/12
Photo by Steve Cohen


Hunx and His Punx at Triple Rock, 3/27/12
Photo by Steve Cohen

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