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I did a stupid thing Monday night: I forgot to bring my camera when I went to see I Am Spoonbender. When one considers the fact that I was actually thinking about skipping the show, the forgotten camera is almost trivial, but, oh, the images I failed to document…

Needless to say, the show was amazing. Drums, synthesizers, samplers, telephone mics, and various unidentified electronic gadgets (analog and digital) were all manipulated live and fed through a laptop which distributed their pulses, pops, and blips as cues to the lighting and video system, whose subsequently colorful and ultra-precise synchronization with the music and movements of the band was rendered oddly organic. And that’s one of the things I really like about I Am Spoonbender: for all their kitschy space-age posturing, their electronic music does not dehumanize them.

After the show, I chatted for awhile with group founder Dustin Donaldson, whose status as a Thought Industry alumnus is what initially attracted me to Spoonbender. I learned from him that the show I had just seen was the result of about three months of coordination and rehearsals, and, as such, all of the eleven performances they are doing on this tour are virtually identical. The demands of their stage setup make it especially difficult for them to tour (setting up the stage routinely takes three hours), which explains why this is only the second time the band has ever played in Philadelphia. However, lucky for us, they expect to be back again in July. I won’t forget the camera next time.

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