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Monday, October 15, 2018

Ninja Sex Party Brings Positive Reinforcement and Boner Rock to the Agora

Concert Review

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 11:44 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY OF @CMYKLAYS ON INSTAGRAM
  • Courtesy of @cmyklays on instagram

For the last decade, Danny Sexbang (Danny Avidan of Game Grumps fame) and Ninja Brian (Brian Wecht—musician, comedian and retired theoretical physicist, seriously) have developed a cult following of fans gravitating toward their hilarious synthpop/rock songs focusing on love, fantasy creatures, or sex and seduction. However, after a recent apperance on Conan and the appearance of Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard in their video for "Danny, Don't You Know," NSP is bigger than ever, and a sold-out Agora crowd got to experience the 'chaotic good' glory first hand on Saturday night.

First things first, the new Agora is stunning. As much as I thought I'd miss the 'maybe-I-shouldn't-touch-the-bathroom-door' grittiness of the pre-renovated venue, there was such a sense of relief knowing I wouldn't need to debate adding bleach to my next bubble bath if I made physical contact with a hand rail.

Also important to note: the new sound updates are phenomenal.



Thirty minutes before the doors were set to open, the line to get into the Agora already wrapped all the way around the building. An all-ages show, every possible demographic was well-represented in the audience, including a hardcore fan battling the less-than-stellar Cleveland sidewalks on his motorized wheelchair, all brought together with a universal connection of nerdiness and a positive mental attitude.

Audience members were packed shoulder-to-shoulder, but the joy and excitement hanging in the air was almost tangible. Everyone was laughing and cheering, and some fans even started a clap-a-long to the Super Mario Bros. theme song playing as house music.

The show opened with a techno/funk/hip-hop trio called Planet Booty, complete with a bedazzled, disco-ball booty presented to the crowd. Frontman Dylan Germick is an electric presence and had every audience member, regardless of gender identity or age, eating out of the palm of his hand. With songs like "Naked" and "Take Off Your Pants," it would be easy to dismiss the band as another sex-crazed party act, but between songs, Germick and co-vocalist Josh Cantero would wax poetic about being true to yourself, embracing your sexuality, letting your freak flag fly and loving and living your truth.

Planet Booty is easily one of the best opening acts I’ve seen in a long while. It’s like a woke-as-fuck musical assembly at a public school teaching consent, sex positivity and booty appreciation.

After Planet Booty said their goodbyes, the stage was invaded by the Tupper Ware Remix Party, commonly known as TWRP, the house band for Ninja Sex Party and a futuristic funk act in their own right. Lead by guitarist Lord Phobos, bassist Commander Meouch, drummer Havve Hogan and keyboardist/lead singer Doctor Sung (who floated across the stage on a hoverboard), the audience collectively lost their fucking minds. A girl next to me, completely glued to recording the entire concert on her iPhone, wiped tears from her eyes the second Doctor Sung greeted the crowd.

TWRP, as a whole, looks and sounds as if Devo made a superhero comicbook in 1986 and then slapped the shit out of Daft Punk with it. Their sound is as futuristic as it is nostalgic, and songs like Rock and Roll Best Friends had the audience united and singing along to lyrics like "And when I'm feelin' sad and lonely/You know what I do?/I chill with my friends/And suddenly everything is cool!" Once their set concluded (after dedicating a song to Mother Nature), TWRP took a brief intermission to prep for their roles as the headliner's backing band. How they managed to play for nearly two hours straight with the same amount of vigor as when they first appeared on stage, the world may never know.

When Ninja Sex Party finally took to the stage, you'd have think the Beatles had arrived on The Ed Sullivan Show with how unabashedly ape-shit the entire audience went at the first sign of the idiotic, enthusiastic, hypersexual and spandex clad Danny Sexbang and his silent, homicidal ninja sidekick, Ninja Brian.

Crying girl didn't stand a chance. She had transitioned into a full-blown hyperventilating sob.

NSP absolutely slayed the audience with early hits like "Dinosaur Laser Fight" and "Unicorn Wizard" as well as newer fare like "Cool Patrol," "Orgy for One" and "Danny, Don't You Know." As NSP also had two pretty successful cover albums, "Everybody (Wants to Rule The World)" and "You Spin Me Right Round" were performed with as much passion and style as if they'd wrote the songs originally. Never fear, NSP also slowed things down with the love-ballad "Heart Boner"; it had couples (including my girlfriend and I) slow-dancing and singing along like we were at a junior high winter formal.

Songs were interrupted with animated vignettes about the evil Lasersaurus trying to ruin the concert, complete with a live-action Lasersaurus that had to be defeated by audience participation. With a sold-out crowd, it was an easy defeat.

For as silly as NSP seems from the outside, that's a massive part of their appeal. There's a confidence and fearlessness that NSP can bring out of their audience, preaching messages of embracing the "uncool" while opting to never be or act a certain way just because it's what is expected by the norm. The show is overwhelmingly positive, while simultaneously delivering a message that "sometimes shit sucks, but you're never alone."

For a night of positivity, sincere-yet-sophomoric humor, kind-spirited self deprecation, "boner rock," metallic spandex and a ninja shoving bras into his pants, Ninja Sex Party more than delivers. I didn't think a band would be able to out-perform the Darkness from earlier this year, but NSP did the damn thing.

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