Live review: Tickle Me Pink @ the Aggie TheatreBy Jackie Lomibao | December 14th, 2009 | 3 comments
Thomas Wolfe famously professed the oft-accepted adage “you can’t go home again,” which isn’t true for Ft. Collins’ beloved Tickle Me Pink. Happily at home Friday night, the guys hosted their second annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Aggie Theatre with openers Oh My Stars, Give ‘Er Hell and Fierce Bad Rabbit. Though dogged by some technical difficulties, the show was a welcomed early Christmas present (and a first night of Hanukkah gift) for excited fans of all ages.
TMP came to the stage via candlelight and an angelic recording of “Oh Holy Night,” each wearing a rather solemn black hood. (Admittedly, I’m still trying to figure out the significance of their opening vignette.)
However, once the lights came up and the hoods came off, they flew into a fiery version of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” which, unfortunately, slowed to a mild lilt between guitarist Steven Beck and drummer Stefan Runstrom when Joey Barba’s lead guitar suddenly fell silent. Barta fumbled briefly with switches, pedals and tuners before his guitar was screaming out chords of the endeared Christmas classic and the band quickly rallied with a red hot version, equally suited to Tchaikovsky and Hendrix enthusiasts.
TMP’s set mostly consisted of songs from their debut and, to date, only CD, “Madeline.” While the CD is beautifully produced, the band doesn’t try to replicate its sound in their live show, bringing depth and originality to notables such as “Typical” and “Madeline.” Their newer “You Got Pwned” (sic), an homage to a D&D playing thirty-something living in his mom’s basement and taking out the neighborhood tough with “one good kick,” was an entertaining and fitting cheer for the consummate loser. The band played with their usual passion that inspires big support and even bigger love from their devoted fan base.
On most nights three opening bands is a bit much, but this was TMP’s holiday gift to their fans and the Extravaganza worked, each band segueing nicely to the next. Fierce Bad Rabbit’s sound was exceptional. The only down-side was the intermittent technical difficulties, distracting but certainly not destructive to the evening’s music.
In an impromptu interview (that was really more repartee than interview) with three of the four members of TMP, Sean Kennedy, vocals/bass, Beck and Runstom, it’s clear these guys are serious about strengthening their toehold in the industry. They are currently working on material for a new CD, “clocking-in” daily at 11 a.m. and “writing, writing, writing” up to ten hours on most days and will soon be heading to music-writing Mecca, Nashville, Tenn., where they hope to find an additional collaborator or two.
Fans can look forward to a 2010 sophomore CD and tour and, surely, much more thereafter from the talented and dedicated Tickle Me Pink.
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Jackie Lomibao is a Lakewood-based writer and regular contributor to Reverb.
Jennifer Cohen is a Lakewood-based freelance photographer and contributor to Reverb. Check out her website.