Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is all about the atmosphere
I can honestly say that I've never been more freaked out at a concert than I was when watching the Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at the State Theater.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. With an atmosphere that was more surreal and dark than a Dali painting mixed with a post-apocalyptic horror movie, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum was able to blend together music and theatrics in a way that was genuinely scary (and funny at times).
Let me put this bluntly. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is the best visual band I've ever seen. Hands-down. When they make their way back to this area again, buy tickets. You won't regret it.
With the way they moved onstage and their costumes of patched-together Victorian dresses, the band came off as inhuman and primal.
This kind of went along with the story (yes, this concert had a plot!) they were telling, which was very surreal and open to interpretation. As far as I can tell, they played the roles of historians telling the story of how man existed before extinction, and how he had trouble living in his environment. Trippy stuff.
The way that they presented themselves made it feel like I was at a dramatic stage show rather than a concert. In fact, the lead singer invited everyone to waltz at one point because, apparently, Wednesdays are for waltzing. He then proceeded to dance with his guitar.
From eerie violin solos to the heavy guitar riffs and guttural vocals, the band ran the gamut of styles. Overall, I witnessed the band playing over 12 different instruments including: guitars, basses, violins, xylophones, trumpets, trombones, flutes and a wide-assortment of homemade instruments that looked like torture devices but sounded amazing.
The opening band, Primitive Astronauts, were an amazing band to behold. While nothing like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, these hard-rocking local boys know their metal and definitely stand out in an overcrowded Tampa Bay metal scene.
While I definitely don't regret seeing Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, I am going to have nightmares for the next couple nights.
--Story/photos by Leigh Armstrong, Times Staff Writer
After the jump, check out some photos of of the band that will haunt my dreams for nights to come!