Posted in music | pictures on April 19, 2011

words & photos by Ben Lozovsky

Go Team

The Go! Team returned after a three-year lull stateside, bringing their outrageous Saturday morning cartoon funk assault to Brooklyn Bowl Saturday (the second of two NYC shows that included Bowery Ballroom earlier in the week).

On what might be the band's final tour ever, according to group founder Ian Parton, there was never an air of finality or remembrance. From the second the booming beat proclamation that introduced opening number "T.O.R.N.A.D.O." rang out, it was unwaveringly go time for The Go! Team. The band rarely dialed down the raucousness while highlighting the understated yet notable growth on their third and latest album, Rolling Blackouts. There's a darker mood to many of the tracks on the disc, including album bookends "T.O.R.N.A.D.O." and "Back Like 8 Track." On numbers like those, the band managed to provide a seesaw soundtrack for all the pissed-off tweens out there hell-bent on revenge on whoever their oppressor might be. This is monkey-bar brawl music, with a nuanced adult edge- tighter production, unpredictable structure shifts, and jarring atonal horn and orchestral samples demonstrated the band's interest in augmenting its template with intrigue and sophistication.

The band has also embraced its girl power side more than ever. MC Ninja's assault was never much concerned with showcasing the delicacy and emotional depth of the fairer sex, but new tracks like "Ready to Go Steady" and "Secretary Song" have a doo-wop and garage-pop girl group pureness and softness to them. The bitter-sweat jangle of sunny "Buy Nothing Day," one of the standouts of Blackouts, was like an empowering acknowledgement of the confusing burdens of female adolescence.

Even as their music gets more nuanced, the band still bewilder with their live performance. All six members frantically ran around the stage, switching between guitar, drums and keyboards, as well as odder instruments like melodica, steel drums, banjo, and even a type-writer. They created walls of sound and guitar distortion, broke them down with crisp chorus singing, and leaped and cheerleaded at any moment that felt big enough (which was at least several times a song).

They might have had a bit too much fun, because as the band finished their performance with a giant group dog pile, Ninja appeared to have hurt herself fairly bad while caught in the middle. She was carried off-stage when she couldn't lift herself up, and was later evaluated by medics in an ambulance outside, flanked by all her concerned band mates.

Ninja later posted this message to Facebook:

Ninja says: Ended up in hospital last night after the Brooklyn show. A band member body-slammed me in the ribs! (All in the name of rock) Thought I had a punctured lung. X-rays showed no broken bones but I'm still sore. Spent the night in a Manhattan A&E with Sam and kept expecting an actor from Grey's Anatomy to walk past. It happened on stage and I think the crowd thought it was part of the show. Nuff scary.

Also, thank you Brooklyn for braving the violent weather to watch our violent show.

Even as an unpleasant end to a riotous and enthusiastic performance, it was proof that this team sticks together through it all. More pictures from the show, including one of the setlist, below...

Go Team

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Comments (15)

PUSSY FIGHT AT BROOKLYN BOWL

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 12:12 PM

I saw "Ninja left in an amublance" (probably a typo) and thought, well if you're doing those ninja moves you see in some "mosh pits", you proabably deserve to leave in an ambulance.

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 12:17 PM

They carried her off the stage at the end of the Bowery show too

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 12:21 PM

is that a circle pit in the 2nd picture? :I

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 12:24 PM

Cool band...you can def tell they like what they're doing. Fun band, crowd always engaged in the show....Rock on guys!

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 1:12 PM

This looks like a pretty fun show.

Posted by The Real Real Yup. PERIOD | April 19, 2011 2:00 PM

the go taim


(anyone get it???)

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 2:02 PM

didn't she used to dress like a cheerleader?

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 2:04 PM

Band was fun seeing them when the first LP was released, but no offense, this shtick is getting pretty old now. Even Charlie Brown is complaining...

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 2:06 PM

Los Camp > these dudes

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 7:36 PM

I was there and thought they were awesome. I don't think their "shtick" is getting old at all. Their sound has clearly evolved over the years, but their stage presence is just as strong as when they first started out. This is probably the last hurrah of the band in this (or any) incarnation. I thought they did a great job. Really glad I got to see them live.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2011 5:45 AM

i have to admit i was afraid to GO)))) to this because Tom would find me.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2011 7:15 AM

ninja is my girlfriend.

Posted by Count Funkula! | April 20, 2011 10:42 AM

To the idiot who said ninja deserved to be in the ambulance. yOu need you head tested. Ninja aka Nkechi-ka is my sister.

Posted by Uluma | April 21, 2011 4:02 PM

@Uluma,

I think what the ignorant commenter (anon12:17) didn't really get from the title was that Ninja was actually part of the band, and was injured pretty badly during the post encore dog pike with the rest of the Go! Team gang. Instead he/she's day-dreaming or maybe tripping out about imaginary concertgoers doing serious "ninja" moves in raging moshpits and getting banged up bad in some pointless meat-headed melee, the violent end results which anon 12:17 gleefully condones.

Whether the author is completely stupid or not could be in question, but strongly doubt that anon12:17 was wishing ill will towards everyone's favorite cheerleading stage commander and hip hop maven. At least one can only hope...

Posted by Ben | April 28, 2011 10:44 PM

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