Wow, that's not what I expected and I suppose it serves me right for having expectations. Maybe I'm naive, but I rarely go to a show expecting to see the musician play half of the set wearing a large furry rabbit head. Or is it just me? If there's one thing that can't be said about Ryland Bouchard, who tours under the name The Robot Ate Me, is that his performance is too mainstream.
Ryland opened with a light song played nervously on acoustic guitar, an act intended to mislead the audience about the real show that was about to take place. He then stated "I don't think the people in the back even know I'm playing. This isn't going to work, goodbye." He put down the guitar and headed toward the back of the stage, donned a furry bunny head, knelt down on the stage, and proceeded to pound on a couple of keyboards and fiddle with a set of distortion boxes that were placed on the ground. Despite the fact that a couple of compositions available on his MySpace sound well organized, his show was much more freeform. In fact, it was more of an art performance than a concert.
I would've said that it was a display of self indulgent behaviour, except that instead of focusing inward the entire time, Ryland put extensive effort into involving the audience. He handed out tins and drumsticks and using rough gestures and expressions he managed to conduct what the participants created. And more than once he came down off stage to sing to an audience member, run through the group, or lie on the floor to scream. It was a truly strange and heavily experimental performance, but the people that stuck around for the entire show seemed to enjoy it, even if only because it was freakish and unique.
Run Chico Run
Remind me never to share a microphone with Jeff Zito.