John Maus brought intense displays of emotion on stage with his 80’s synth-pop.
Before Maus took the stage, Holy Shit opened with an energetic set. Every member was clothed in weird attire, specifically frontman, Matt Fishbeck, who was wearing a checkered sweater vest with some trippy shoes. The frontman’s rig consisted of cheap pedals, notably the Boss DS-1––a pedal that every beginner guitarist owned at one point. Surprisingly, even with cheap gear and utilizing gimmicky instruments like the omnichord, the band achieved an amazing tone that fit the same 80’s vibe as Maus. The band’s set was unfortunately cut short, but that didn’t stop Fishbeck from playing a stripped down song before leaving the stage.
Once John Maus got on stage, he immediately poured his heart out to the audience. He sang with an excessive amount of passion in each song. He would get really into it by hopping, raising his fist up high, or by occasionally punching himself in the face. In-between verses he would pull away from the mic and scream as loud as he could, to the point where the crowd could hear it over the booming music. He performed a good amount of material from one of his recent albums, Screen Memories, with hits like “The Combine” and “Touchdown.” Halfway through his set, he began to pick up the tempo with more post-punk-like songs which got the younger crowd to mosh. After a few more dark electropop jams, Maus and the band walked away from the stage, leaving the audience hungry for more. He returned with a beautiful performance of “Believer” which had some of the crowd in tears. Once the show ended, I was left in melancholy, but playing Maus’ music on the way home turned that feeling around.