Miscellaneous Review

NSP’s 10th Anniversary Show

 

This past Saturday, October 12th was Ninja Sex Party’s 10th Anniversary show hosted in good ‘ol Chicago, Illinois. I’ve been a huge fan of them for about two years and counting now. I was supposed to attend their Tour de Force concert in Madison, Wisconsin last year, but I got severely ill and had to, unfortunately, cancel my anticipated plans of going. Needless to say, as soon as the tickets were bought for this year’s concert, I did everything I could possibly think of to not get sick again. I’m prone to getting sick rather easily and when I do get sick, it’s not just a little cough and sneezing; no, it’s accompanied by the plague itself. It’s a fun time. Anyway, enough about my self-pity moment and back to the concert from Saturday.

The show was held in Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago, which has a seating capacity of 9,500. In case you don’t know, that’s a lot of people. It’s a multi-purpose hall, so the entire outer part of the arena has seats on several different levels, and then the entire middle portion is what we all called the “dance floor”, which is essentially just the standing area. Boy does that part get crowded. If you get easily claustrophobic, I suggest you don’t get general admission tickets for the floor if you ever come to this venue. It’s a cool experience nonetheless, but it gets very tight and extremely warm from all of the body heat emanating around you. You kind of become numb to it once you’re enjoying the concert, but I know some people don’t like that, so just be warned.

The concert started at 8:00pm, but we wanted to get there early since the floor is pretty much first come first serve for where you’ll get to stand during the entirety of the show. We got there a little after 5:30pm and the lines literally looped around the building already. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what time everybody else had gotten there. We had been hanging out in the city, so we had just taken our time getting there and didn’t think of possibly dropping in a bit earlier than we had planned. We stood in line for about two hours, I believe? Maybe two and a half in total. But, to my great surprise, those two/two and a half hours honestly flew by. We were moving little by little, so it felt like we were at least making some progress, and, I don’t know if NSP just has the friendliest fans or what, but everyone was just so easy to get along with in line and no one started any issues or anything. It was rather pleasant to be in a non-toxic public environment; at least, from the areas I was at.

This was my first ever ‘official’ indoor concert, too, so I had no idea what to expect. Once we started being let inside, I immediately glanced down at the dance floor. Why did I do that, you may ask? Because I needed to know how able I would be to get out if I needed to use the restroom at any point once the concert started. And then, I remembered what my mother always told me when I was younger: “Use the bathroom before leaving the house or starting an event.” We had missed way too many movie scenes and baseball innings for her to eventually decide to pound that rule into my brothers’ heads and mine. So, I went to the bathroom right away. I correctly guessed that I wouldn’t have a chance in hell of getting out and then back to the same spot once I claimed one and I was happy to have listened to my mother.

Once we got down to the floor, we just pretty much hung out and watched our surroundings get more and more packed. We had pretty good spots where we could see the stage clearly, too. I did make an important mental note for the future, though: Wear big ass platforms next time. Being only about 5’3”, I knew I’d have to struggle to see anything once the concert started. I don’t know why people are so tall nowadays…

It wasn’t until our surroundings got clustered with people and we could no longer see how to escape the area that the opening band came onto the stage. I had been forewarned by two of the people in our group who had gone to last year’s concert that this opening band was something else and that I would love them. They weren’t wrong. The first thing I saw was their name plastered on the screen behind the stage. Planet Booty. I knew then and there that I was in for one hell of a show from them. The singer, Dylan Germick, has unbelievable energy and the incredible ability to pump up the crowd. He effortlessly got everyone jumping and dancing by their first song. It was easy to tell how skeptic a lot of people were at first when he came out with a Disco ball butt and held it up. But, by the end of their act, everyone was practically worshipping that shiny booty. Their music was catchy and their performance was great. I can’t even classify their music as any one genre, but I enjoyed what I heard and will be looking for more of their songs on YouTube in the near future.

Next up was TWRP. I have to be honest, the most I’ve ever heard of their music is the few songs where they teamed up with NSP. I mean, yes, they’re officially part of NSP and play all of their music, but there are a few that they wrote together. They remind me a lot of Daft Punk, which I’ll listen to once in a blue moon in the background, but I’ve never really sat down to listen to either of them. It’s not exactly the type of music I’ll put on when I want to actually listen, you know? Well, I absolutely loved them live. Doctor Sung (the lead vocalist and keytar player) was a million times more cool and entertaining than I ever would’ve imagined from the handful of videos I’ve seen him in. I never thought I would have so much fun watching TWRP perform live. Their music is still not something I probably won’t constantly listen to, but I have a newfound appreciation for them and for the amount of work they put into that very music. They’re great. Doctor Sung and Commander Meouch (the bassist) were the only ones that legitimately spoke throughout their performance, but the other two, Havve Hogan (guitarist) and Lord Phobos (drummer), made up for their lack of speaking with their personalities and presence on stage. Plus, their costumes/masks/helmets are perfection. The only bad aspect about them that I’d like to point out is that, as great as their performance was, they could not pump up the crowd the way Planet Booty could. They certainly tried their best and got some reaction out of the crowd at times, but nothing like Planet Booty.

After TWRP finished and walked off stage, we all got teased several times before the main event occurred. Let me tell you something, as soon as the lights were turned off and we got a glimpse of TWRP walking back on stage and taking their positions, the amount of excitement in that building could’ve blown the roof off. You could feel how badly everyone wanted NSP on stage. I mean, we were all there to see them specifically, after all.

A video played on the large screen behind the stage briefly showing the history of NSP with short excerpts from some of their songs and was immediately followed by their theme song where NSP finally showed up. The second we all saw Danny and Ninja Brian come on-stage, not a single person in that building remained quiet or even still. As soon as they finished performing their theme song, everyone’s voices combined into an unbelievable roar that made Danny put down his microphone and bump his chest in sheer gratitude at the number of people yelling out his name. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that amount of love toward his fans in a really long time. He was genuinely happy to be looking at each and every one of us. And Ninja Brian, well… he was being Ninja Brian and giving all of us the finger as we individually reciprocated his unique expression of love. Whoever hadn’t been full of adrenaline from Planet Booty and TWRP now had more energy than they probably had ever had in their entire lives. I’m guilty of that myself. I have severe lower back problems and had been in a lot of pain throughout the first two bands due to standing in one spot for too long (I need to stay moving around for it not to hurt too badly), but as soon as I saw NSP come onstage, my adrenaline kicked in and served as a natural pain reliever for the rest of the night. It was incredible. I was jumping, dancing, singing, screaming, you name it. I had never had that type of experience and it’s one I’m never going to forget.

The two in my group that had watched their concert last year advised me that NSP’s show was pretty similar this time around with a few song changes and speeches, but was a much better turn out and experience overall. I mean, there were a lot of people there. Danny himself even made a comment as soon as he saw all of us, saying something along the lines of, “Chicago, you are officially the largest crowd we’ve ever played for.” For some reason, that made us all scream more. It’s incredible how much being in a crowd that large will make you scream more than you thought possible for the most random things, too, like Danny finally succumbing and giving Ninja Brian a long, overdue high-five.

Their entire show revolved around how Lasersaurus (a dinosaur with a laser on his head, obviously) wanted to crash the show because he essentially wanted to beat up NSP. It was fun to see the comedic story unfold. The best part about all of it is that part of the skit was that a man would come out wearing a dinosaur head and pretend to beat them all up on stage, but his costume malfunctioned halfway through his performance and his head instantly deflated and instead of stopping it all, Danny went along with it and continued to narrate/act out in between bursts of laughter, while we could all see Doctor Sung absolutely losing it behind the dinosaur. It worked out so much better that it had malfunctioned because everyone laughed along and we just all rolled with it and had a great time. It was such an NSP type of performance that I preferred this version over one where everything went perfectly.

Their setlist pretty much consisted of their most popular songs with a mix of a few others ones in between (the below songs are not in the order they were played, by the way):

Unicorn Wizard

Dinosaur Laser Fight

Cool Patrol

Danny Don’t You Know

Release the Kraken (Ninja Brian suddenly vanished and the Kraken showed up instead; it was amazing)

Heart Boner (we all got little red hearts and put them over our phone flashlights in order to ‘create a mood’)

You Spin Me Right Round

Rocket Man

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Puppies in Space (this was great, too)

Starlight Brigade

There was also a surprise song that TWRP and Brian decided to sing. He prefaced the song by saying, “Danny doesn’t know about this, but there’s a song I want to sing. I discussed it with TWRP and they were totally on board with it.” So, he made Danny stand toward the back and Brian, in normal human clothes, took the front of the stage. TWRP began to play a song and a few seconds in, the words that came out of Brian’s mouth were, “Baby shark doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo”. The crowd went crazy. The reactions from everyone were hilarious, too. Half of the people immediately started jamming out to this annoying song, most obviously having the time of their lives. The other half, like myself and my group, had a great internal turmoil at first. “Do we cringe and just stand here, or do we say f*ck it and jam out, too?” Guess which one we chose? That was the first and last time I’ll ever jump and dance for that stupid song, but I have no regrets.

After NSP walked off the stage, the crowd was still full of life and energy and everyone screamed for an “encore” and for “another 10 years” (which honestly gave me goosebumps when I first heard the chant roar behind us). Eventually, TWRP came back onto the stage and the reaction that came out was equal to when NSP first took the stage. For their encore songs, they played We Built This City from their new album, Under the Covers Volume 3, which they announced would be dropping next month. The final song was the first song they ever wrote with TWRP, The Hit. I’ve never enjoyed that song more than I did Saturday night.

Also, a little note. Directly to the left of where we were standing, someone had fainted because of heat stroke (seriously, it gets really hot when everyone is jumping and dancing around together) during the performance of Danny Don’t You Know. The second it happened, we all immediately started pointing at where the person had fainted while others fanned him/her. As I mentioned, it was tight there and difficult to get in and out, so there was no way to get security over to us. So, we continued to all point until Danny noticed something was wrong. As soon as he noticed, he gave us all a sign that he had seen us and acknowledged that something was up. In between one of his verses, he informed security that someone needed help, and throughout the next few seconds of the song as he continued to sing, he kept pointing out the area to better direct security. It did take us in that surrounding area out of the song for a bit, but the person was taken away right before the part of the song where it gets more upbeat, so we managed to get back in once we knew that the person was in good hands. I have to commend Danny at not losing his composure or even losing his rhythm or lyrics. I know it’s something performers should get used to, but I still find it impressive. Danny handled that perfectly well since he couldn’t just stop the song (a majority of places have fines, so smaller bands can’t just stop and do whatever they want like bigger bands can; I assume this is one of those times).

Overall, this was an incredible show with an unbelievable amount of memorable moments that will hopefully last me a lifetime. I walked out of that building a much bigger fan of NSP than I already was. I also have a huge appreciation for the fans, who sang along to every single song they sang. We all even sang to the instrumental parts of songs, which is so weird to think about.

Seeing them live was something I’m so happy I could do and am grateful to have had the opportunity to do (thank you immune system for keeping me healthy this year). The only bad thing about the entire experience is that we didn’t get a chance to make it to the merch vendors. The lines wrapped around so much that the only time we figured we’d be able to get in would be during Planet Booty or TWRP. But, that idea was quickly discarded when we realized that if we left the floor, we would never be able to return to the same spots that we had. So, we sacrificed buying merch in order to keep our great spots. Equivalent exchange, I suppose.

Anyway, let me hear it. Were any of you there? Are there any other NSP fans reading this? Tell me all about it!

I’ll see y’all in the next post!

 

BlameSaiki

 

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I’m a 25-year-old story-telling fan. I enjoy all forms of media, including anime, manga, literature, films, video games, music, and everything else in between. I’ve been writing short stories and novels for myself as a hobby for as long as I can remember. I’ve never considered myself good enough to become published, but I’m hoping to change that someday. I’m a huge sucker for characters, so that’s usually what will make or break a majority of stories for me. Other than that, I spend my days working and trying to pay my bills (how fun, right?).

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