Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Live Review: Ono at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Text Mr. Nitetrotter  - May 12, 2010

Yesterday I had the opportunity to catch Chicago 80's noise punk legends Ono at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.  If you haven't heard of them they were played with bands like Naked Raygun back in the 80s to mixed results, they were also labelmates of the Birthday Party and Flipper. You can buy their original LP Machines That Kill People for approximately 300 dollars on Ebay.

This was my third time catching Ono live. The other two times were in completely different settings of diy punk shows with the average crowd. This on the other hand was in the fancy cafe of the Museum right off of the Magnificent Mile.  I walked in a little late following the dark noise to see Ono frontman in a white gown and headdress performing a unique dance with a hundred yuppies paying complete attention. He freely roamed the room and even went outside the windows via a few loops around the revolving door to change dresses. He looked these people in the eye and was dead serious. The crowd was all sipping overpriced drinks as if they just got off their jobs in the loop stopping by at the museum for free Tuesdays. 

The show was part of a series of concerts with art displayed by Plastic Crime(Steve Krakow) who is the man behind the Secret History of Chicago Music comic strip series in the Chicago Reader among other amazing pyschedelic activities. He did well by picking out Ono to play this.

Each time I have seen Ono it has been totally different but always satisfying. This was the darkest and most fucked up I have witnessed them. It was also the most heavy, it sounded great in that room. The music backing up Travis' performance art is reminiscent of throbbing Gristle or something like that with their own flavor. You can tell there is a definite Chicago R&B influence and I can't get over the African Spiritual style of singing Travis does in the songs. He is 62 and still killing it! He is my favorite cross dressing front man EVER! If you have a chance to see them make sure you do it. They are certainly one of the Chicago's best kept secrets. 

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