WHO: Evolution Control Committee
If there was any justice in this world, evolution would never be dismissed by a large portion of the population as “just a theory,” and Evolution Control Committee would be more popular than god.
At their gig opening for The Mutaytor, however, it was painfully clear that there is no justice in this world. Perhaps the president neglected to deployed his elite squadron of Navy Seals to the Echoplex, to enforce the dancing orders that should have been heeded far earlier in the game.
Although by the end of his set TradeMark G, aka Mark Gunderson, persuaded even the room's most hardened hipsters to, if not boogie, then to vigorously bob their heads in agreement, through most of the show only a portion of the crowd seemed willing to let themselves fall under the mashup artist/mad scientist's spell.
For serious dancing to break out, a few factors always have to be in place.
It has to be dark (it was), thumping (it was), and crowded (it wasn't). Still, ECC has the last laugh on megastardom with the track “Stairway To Britney,” a reverent blend of “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and “Stairway to Heaven.”
Looking like Colonel Sanders' very funky, very nerdy younger brother, Gunderson, whose unembellished show would be not much more than a guy standing behind a computer screen, still comprehends the importance of providing visual appeal, so he employs his wife as a dancing girl. It's as if, like one of Gunderson's deliciously counterintuitive musical pairings, she herself is a mashup. She can dance all right, but does she look like a dancing girl? From the waist down, with a sparkly skirt, shapely legs, and go-go boots, Assistant Frillypants does, but from the waist up, in a loose-fitting oxford shirt and girl-in-the-next-cubicle bob, Assistant Frillypants does not.
A few on the fringes obeyed immediately, shaking to ECC's borrowed beats, including one girl off to the side dancing solo in that distinctive “I'm alone on acid at a Phish show and I don't care” style. But the dance dominos really started to fall in the wake of a mix of “Blister in the Sun” and “Tequila” so utterly logical it left people scratching their heads and wondering, “why didn't I think of that?”
The crowd thickened when Mutaytor took the stage, and the lonely, acidy girl to the side of the crowd gained a few writhing friends as Mutaytor's own mesmerizing dancing girls ruled the stage, at several points dominating the musical proceedings into a blur of background irrelevance. Even the rock solid pounding of drummer Hambone Hicks and crazy bass stylings of former Oingo Boingo member John Avila just couldn't wrestle the crowd's attention from Mutaytor's extremely easy-on-the-eyes belly dancer — imagine Salma Hayek, but with hips that vibrate like a Hitachi Magic Wand — or the two girls who applied power grinders to their Slave Leia metal bikini breastplates to create the effect of showers of sparks flying from their nipples. Hit me, baby, one more time.