New York-based electronic pop/performance art duo Fischerspooner (frontman/lyricist Casey Spooner and composer/producer Warren Fischer) brought its lavish, sexually provocative show to a packed Hammer
New York-based electronic pop/performance art duo Fischerspooner (frontman/lyricist Casey Spooner and composer/producer Warren Fischer) brought its lavish, sexually provocative show to a packed Hammerstein Ballroom on the second stop of the group's first North American tour.
Tickets were $24 in advance and $27 at the door, with more than 2,200 tickets trading hands. Attempting to recapture the avant/ post-modern theatrics of Andy Warhol and the Factory, early Bowie, and Sigfried & Roy, the group staged an imaginative performance that was nothing short of a spectacle—and a campy one.
Sidestepping traditional rock concert conventions like instruments and live singing in favor of a more conceptual and cheeky approach, Fischerspooner's performance incorporated elaborate theatrical lighting, dizzying plot turns, couture costuming, wind machines, and confetti.
Led by consummate showman Spooner—who was joined by a handful of well-choreographed dancers (Fischer oversees the production from backstage)—Fischerspooner treated fans to a highly energized set of songs from its recently issued debut, #1 (Capitol).
In this setting, such tracks as "Invisible," "Natural Disaster," a cover of Wire's "The 15th," and lead single "Emerge" came to life, perfectly capturing the throbbing energy of the underground electroclash scene, which is where this outfit has been most embraced.
The crowd—which included Moby, actress Chloe Sevigny, and ex-Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club members Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz—erupted into cheers and applause throughout, particularly during Spooner's onstage antics—stage diving, joking with the audience ("Let's pretend this is a live show"), and general laissez-faire spirit.
The biggest problem with Fischerspooner live is that, ultimately, this show is about suspended belief; unfortunately, as it progresses, the proceedings become increasingly one-dimensional and farcical. The pretentious posturing loses its appeal, not allowing for any real spontaneity or sustained interest. Perhaps context is the key element in conveying Fischerspooner's conceptual commentary. That said, a more intimate theater or gallery—or conversely, an extravagant Las Vegas stage—would provide the ideal setting for Fischerspooner's performances.—CR