A Night With Radioboxer


A friend recently asked me to swing by Tobacco Road and check out an event that promised to feature great live music and flamboyant theatrics in a charming and intimate setting. If I was at any point on the fence about this, the decision was finalized with the mentions of a waived cover charge and a delicious cake. Done deal.
Upon arriving, it appeared I had stepped into an odd wedding set up with musicians doubling as actors. A saxophone-toting minister, a disheveled bride strumming an acoustic guitar, a very dapper drummer (and perhaps best man) and a fiery groom were all setting the scene. Their music was relatively harmless and seemed to serve as interludes for the clusterfuck of yelling, stomping and reconciling that followed. Soon enough, my beer was just about done, and so were they. I’m pretty sure someone got
married.
Throughout this folksy soap-opera, the second band of the evening, Radioboxer, was lugging their equipment through the crowd in a marginally-admirable attempt at being
clandestine and attentive. I say marginal because their unfettered air of untamed bad-assery was pretty hard to ignore. Without getting too into it, I felt like I was looking at The Strokes Lite. Between their calculated image and their name encroaching dangerously close to Radiohead, I tried my best not to let my prejudices sink them before they set sail. Besides, if they were so great, why hadn’t I heard of them? Before that sentiment finished materializing itself in my mind, they blitzed on-stage. The onslaught
was on.
From the very beginning of their set they held a very modest crowd by the throat. The attack was helmed by their front-woman, a bubbling mixture of chemicals reaching critical mass. The sinister charisma was undeniable. She was definitely one of those people you develop distant crushes on, but don’t pursue, because they could, you know, crush you. She utilized streamers; confetti and a megaphone transform a small group of wide-eyed curious onlookers into a formidable, dancing riot. The group reminded me of Metric, for a lot of great reasons, led by an Emily Haines acolyte, if she were Venezuelan. Many of their songs were simultaneously aggressive and infectious, none more than their set closer, a gem I later learned was aptly titled “Placebo Effect”.
The set was short and sweet, in the same way that a rollercoaster ride or death by a firing squad can be described in the same way. The night was over, and I left Tobacco Road overwhelmed, thoroughly impressed, and shaking bits of confetti out of my hair. It didn’t even matter that I didn’t eat any cake.


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