The sold-out Woodward Theater felt like the center of the universe last night as Psychic Twin and STRFKR stopped for a visit inside the Queen City. This was the first time STRFKR has returned to Cincinnati since playing at Midpoint Music Festival in 2011, and there was definitely a sense that everybody inside had been waiting for this moment to see them for years.
STRFKR’s opener was Psychic Twin, an electronic female duo based out Brooklyn, New York who just recently signed to Polyvinyl Records. They came out in matching bodysuits, and wasted no time in getting the party started for the night. Their set felt ethereal, mysterious and even distant at sometimes. It almost felt like being trapped inside the Stranger Things opening title sequence. However, at the same time, their set also felt incredibly human. Erin Fein, the duo’s primary member was dancing around on stage, smiling at all of us, and acknowledging all the others who were following her lead (which was many.)
Woodward Theater was inevitably becoming more and more packed between sets. It almost forced you to become more personal towards the strangers around you, and it was probably for the better as these strangers were going to be your dance partners for the next hour.nAt a point where the stage could not get any foggier, four figures came out head-to-toe in space suits, two of whom looked to be like Psychic Twin, but was hard to tell behind all the fog. We surely thought this was STRFKR, yet to our surprise, four more band-looking individuals came out and went to their respected instruments.
It’s hard to believe that STRFKR has such a long career. They clearly have the tightness and professionalism of a veteran band, but they all play with the energy of a band that could be embarking on their first tour. Not at one point did the show lose any momentum thanks to songs like “German Love” and “Pop Song” off their synonymous debut album released in 2008 as well as “Tape Machine” and “Never Ever” from their latest release, Being No One, Going Nowhere.
The song that everyone was waiting for, however was “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second.” This was the song was most likely responsible for introducing everybody in that theater to STRFKR, a song that will be considered a juggernaut in the indie scene for decades. It was truly an incredible scene seeing everyone getting caught in this contagious groove during this song.
STRFKR decided to save the climax for the encore, coming back on to play their fan-favorite cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” This song was easily the highlight of the night. The four individuals in spacesuits were invited back on stage accompanied by a giant flamingo to crowd surf on and confetti cannons to top it all off. It was the quintessential dance party for those three minutes, regardless if you were a boy or girl, you were dancing.
Cincinnati felt like it was home to many STRFKR super-fans. The majority of the sold-out crowd knew nearly every word to every song. Regardless, if this was the first seeing them in concert, it really did feel like a bucket list show, and I’m positive the general consensus was that they don’t want to wait another six years to see them here in Cincinnati again.