Soundstage, Baltimore MD, May 24

Photo: Natalie Zina Walschots

BY Natalie Zina WalschotsPublished May 25, 2015

If you were to guess which bands would have inspired one of the wildest, most ecstatic and exuberant pits of the festival, Japanese noise weirdos Melt-Banana probably would not have been at the top of that list. It was a delightful surprise, then, than the crowd absolutely adored the strange, cerebral group, the only participant in the fest who played with a drum machine.
Singer Yasuko Onuki was gracious and seemed genuinely humbled during the sweet and stilted banter between songs, but she sang like a woman possessed, wielding a midi controller in one hand like a sceptre. While the band balanced euphoric digital sweetness with neon violence, the crowd gleefully tore apart an inflatable flamingo, innumerable glow sticks and each other. Melt-Banana were one of the very few non-headliners who were coaxed into playing a rare MDF encore, of "Candy Gun," to the pleasure of the sweaty, bloody, toxic glow-stick-juice-spattered crowd.

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