BEING THERE: Man Man @ Union Transfer


A way sold out Union Transfer got its collective weird-beard on last night when local yokels Man Man planted their freak flag with an onslaught of rock-and-roll absurdity that spanned all four of their extant albums. It didn’t take long for the local cult favorite to raise the collective heart rate of the audience. By their third song, “Mr. Jug Stuffed,” they had the floor dancing, the balconies stomping, and the crowd surfers doing a great job of pissing off security. Momentarily slowing down the audience’s collective pulse, Honus Honus donned his signature alien mask as the band drifted into a string of songs from the latest album, Life Fantastic, highlighted by the goofy lilt of “Piranhas Club.” By mid-set, they were building steam again as they launched into Life Fantastic‘s title track, sounding like nothing so much as a zombie marching band busking for brains in the subway of your mind. Closing out the night, Honus climbed atop his piano bench to lead the crowd through the maniacal Jack-and-the-Bean-Stalk-esque “fee-fi-fo-fum” chorus of “Engwish Bwudd.” Meeting the audience’s screaming demands for more, they returned to the stage for a three-song encore, closing with the psychotic klezmer of “Spider Cider,” as a frenzied Honus Honus — looking like a coked-up, 21st century Zappa — transformed Union Transfer into a perverse, Bizarre-world circus for children of all ages. — MEREDITH KLEIBER