St. Patrick’s Day was quite a busy time for the nightlife of downtown St Cloud. It was my first real experience with the day’s celebrations in full swing, and I’ll tell you that it was interesting, to say the least. Never have I been asked so many random questions in a single night by people who collectively drank enough alcohol to take down an elephant herd. I can only imagine what the staff of the local bars had to deal with.
It was admittedly difficult to stay relatively sober during the night’s events, but I had a mission. Psychostick, a band I’ve listened to since I was in middle school, was going to perform at the Red Carpet, and I was pretty excited. For the unaware, Psychostick is a comedy metal band who released their debut album in 2003 and have been playing silly metal ever since. One characteristic that separates their work from similar artists is how serious they are about their metal sound. Sure, they may be performing a song wondering if the listener wants a taco, but that doesn’t mean the instrumental components aren’t important. It is one of many characteristics that have earned them a loyal audience amongst metalheads and others alike.
Fast forward through the night’s prior lineup and a drunk causing a scene with the previous band, Psychostick came on stage, starting with their concert intro. “Do you know where you are right now?! Take a wild guess…” For the plenty of people with slow, pickled minds in the audience, the answer was helpfully given to them: “YOU’RE AT A CONCERT! YOU’RE AT A SHOW!”
By that mention of our current location, the tone of the show and of the band was set. If anyone took the music seriously, they would be alone. Everyone in front of the stage was dancing or moshing, while people sitting in the booths and on stools were laughing along with the rest of the attendees. It would have been hard not to laugh at the band’s antics on stage and with their music, and the set list made sure to keep it that way.
The set list that was performed contained songs from their entire discography, with three being drawn by the audience via their ‘Slaughtery.’ The set list started with Psychostick’s newer singles and songs, including “Obey the Beard,” a song about the glory of beards and the misery of not having one; “Dogs Like Socks,” a metal song about the best friend of man’s best friend; and “NSFW,” a metal cover of various classical music pieces combined with repeated profanity.
Fans of their earlier work were happy to hear their favorites return once again. The previously mentioned “Do You Want a Taco” was joined by Psychostick’s very popular track about alcohol being good with stuff, “BEER!!”; “Largiloquent Dithyramb,” an instrumental song and a ‘Slaughtery’ winner that annoyed the bassist; and perhaps the most metal song they performed that night, “Orgasm = Love”.
The songs are important, but not the only component of a successful concert. In this manner, Psychostick killed it. Their silly antics were hilarious, and showed off how much practice there is in being silly. The lead vocalist knows how to sing a silly song seriously, and make everyone laugh along the way; while the guitar and bass players act like stooges playing some serious metal. They work well with each other, and it shows with their performance. It was just a fun night of listening to serious, dumb metal and watching drunks being forcefully kicked off the stage by four guys wearing silly headwear and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.