The Indestructible North at the Lion's Lair, 01/03/13 (photos) - Reverb

The Indestructible North at the Lion’s Lair, 01/03/13 (photos, review)

Imagine what a young Wayne Coyne might do with “Paint it Black” as a solo performance art-rock piece, and you get a small sense of the blood-soaked freakout Adam Stone unleashed (in silver and black) on a small, brave gathering at the Lion’s Lair last night.

Stone, a polite, spiky-hired composer best known for his sweet original musical collaborations with Denver’s Buntport Theater Company, came off as something of a self-immolating human paintball canister as his musical alter ego, the Indestructible North. Stone, a Colorado College grad who has recently relocated to Denver from Brooklyn, is a balladeer somewhere between Freddy Mercury and Florence (and the Machine) Welch.

He sings prettily and he screams worthy of Trent Reznor. He speaks of his music with the passion of a coke fiend. Playing keys with taped loops while smearing himself with paint he stores in prescription bottles, Stone told, in six distinct musical opuses, the journey of a small boy afraid of ghosts who grows into a superhero who does triumphant battle with monsters and shame. There are references to razor wire slitting through your gums. Finally, when he has vanquished all of his demons, inside and out, the young man finds himself missing and needing them, and invites them back into his life.

The small crowd was utterly charmed, in part because of Stone’s Ewan McGregor circa-“Trainspotting” good looks. When he was finished, soaked in paint and sweat, one  young woman told her friend, “That guy is totally creepy,” to which her friend replied, “Yeah, but I’d totally (bleep) him.”

Stone says he’ll never perform last night’s set in quite the same way again. Just as well. That one is going to leave a bruise. Or at least a stain.

You can see Stone’s work next in Buntport Theater Company’s “Wake,” an original musical re-imagining of “The Tempest.”  It plays Jan. 25-Feb. 23 at 717 Lipan St. (720-946-1388 or buntport.com).

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John Moore founded The Denver Post Underground Music Showcase in 2001 and served as deputy sports editor, rock writer and theater critic at The Denver Post. He now writes for www.CultureWest.org. Follow him on Twitter here. (@moorejohn)