Shout Out Out Out Out / San Serac / Our Mercury Planet Ze, Edmonton AB Aug 17 and 18

After a recent spate of idiot violence in Edmonton from thugs and cops alike, it oddly became briefly fashionable to sport ironic black eyes and Band-Aids around town — this explained Lyle Bell’s greasy shiner that hovered over his keyboard during the night’s crescendo. And it also accounted for the number of faux-miserable faces in the sea of pretty as power sextet Shout Out Out Out Out busted apart two nights at curious industrial park warehouse Planet Ze, a screaming neighbour outside picking fights — seriously — in his underwear. The line-up was odd for a couple reasons: firstly that Baltimore-beautiful San Serac and SO4 fit an all-electronic bill that the suburban white reggae/R&B of Our Mercury kind of didn’t. To boot, these were advertised as Our Mercury’s last shows ever, and though the adios of the long-time band dragged out to at least one more secret gig, extremely expressive singer/guitarist Ben Steven seemed wedged in then rushed off between the two futurist acts, Toronto-bound. But San Serac was solo and captivating, a tiny charismatic goblin singing Bowie’s "Teenage Wildlife” with interesting static and backbeats. Just signed to E-ville’s NRMLS WLCM label, his sweaty show still resonates, lyrics as uncool-thus-cool and nervous as the headliners. The Shout Outs, as always, became a barrage of high kicks, red pants, wild facial expressions and escalating beats. It was well-hemmed, leggy mayhem. There was a stag party going on, and the incumbent groom ended up beneath Bell’s keyboards most of the show as Will Zimmerman and Nik Kozub bounded about like videogame deer, vocals distorted into a Cylon’s Cylon. The double drum setup tapped us into irresistible rhythm under the flashing "SHOUT” marquee, Kozub’s dad cutely taking photos of the home-comers after their American tour, which included the Baltimore Virgin Fest. But despite the juice, less was at stake here, and while leaping about they seemed relaxed and at ease, like an outward sigh. It’s always nice to come home, after all, even if the jocks are head butting and tasering everyone in sight.