Man Man at Baron's
by Alex Stockum
Man Man is a band I could see live time and time again. Sadly, I’ve only see them three times. The first two times were in 2014, as they were touring for their fifth and newest album, On Oni Pond. First, I saw them at the Westword Music Showcase in Denver. It was an odd gathering. 2 Chainz and Diplo headlined the festival, but Man Man was undoubtedly the highlight for me.
Lead singer Honus Honus set the pace with his stage energy, and a playfulness that kept the crowd engaged. In between each song he would change into a different ridiculous item of clothing that fans had provided for him before the show, and then throw his old outfit into the audience. I was lucky enough to catch a flowery muumuu that Honus couldn’t fit into, and with the help of some nearby fans, squeezed myself into my new festival dress, which would elicit the offerings of many substances from admiring hippies for the rest of the night.
I had always loved their studio albums, but after seeing them live I knew I had been missing out on their past tours. The next time I saw them was only a couple months later in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania. It was an equally awesome experience, accompanied by jars and jars of backwoods moonshine.
Little did I know that this was going to be their last tour for some time. The band went on a hiatus that lasted from 2014 until earlier this year. They’re one of those groups whose website I would optimistically check from time to time to see if they were up to anything again. Each visit to their site left me disappointed and I began to accept that they might be done for good.
Until suddenly, unexpectedly, I saw they were touring again. They were coming to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe with Rebecca Black. How could I miss that? This was in July of this year, and it was another amazing show. The band lineup has changed, but the musicianship and energy has remained. For being only a six-piece band, the number of instruments being played makes it feel as if Honus Honus is the conductor of an orchestra.
Fast-paced percussion, horns that explore both beautiful harmonies and frantic absurdities, marimbas, bells, virtuosic yet restrained guitars, falsetto vocals, and deep grunts all accompany Honus Honus’ lead vocals and exciting keyboard playing. I’m beyond stoked that we’ve got them coming to Baron's on September 15th. Fellow local Man Man fan, Bobby Hodown, will be opening for them along with SCREAM-POP duo GRLwood from Louisville, Kentucky. The show is 21 and over and tickets are $15 at the door.