BEING THERE: Ariel Pink @ Union Transfer



Tuesday night at Union Transfer, concertgoers in tacky plastic sunglasses and obnoxiously puffy fur coats awaited sunny pop salvation from their favorite wacky-rock idol. Though temperatures were below freezing outside, there was a hellish rise in temperature, glitter and lipstick graffiti when Ariel Pink and his ragtag five-piece band of sinners took the stage. You never quite know what you are going to get at an Ariel Pink concert. Typical sour antics at Ariel Pink concerts include: moody mid-show breakdowns, lost heads, and merciless 300-year sentences to the deepest, darkest dungeons doled out to naysayers of his music. But much to the relief of all on hand, Ariel wanted to play nice Tuesday night, signaling as much by reaching out to shake the hands of fans that idolize him, like a gentle giant in purple platform shoes. Specks of glitter flecked his face and reflected the stage lights, along with his long platinum-blonde hair, which was tied up in Troll Doll fashion. And he was smiling. Why was he smiling? Who died? His already strong aura of absurdity intensified. With that, Ariel Pink delivered a mammoth 18-song set chock full of playful psychedelic pop tunes that were just as crazy-cool as his get-up, serenading the audience with odes to the joys of Jell-O on white bread, strip clubs and black ballerinas as the audience bounced around like a bowl of spilled jellybeans on a trampoline. Fittingly, he closed the show with “Picture Me Gone,” and bidding us adieu he announced to the crowd that the next stop on his tour was the Mayo Clinic, where, as per usual, he will no doubt comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. — MARY LYNN DOMINGUEZ