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October 25, 2014

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Five thoughts from last night’s Melt-Banana show

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Spencer Patterson

Melt-Banana fills the Bunkhouse on Friday night.

1. I’ve been to at least 50 Bunkhouse shows, and I’ve never seen the parking lot and surrounding streets this full of cars. Who knew frenetic Japanese noise-rock had this kind of audience in Las Vegas?

2. Melt-Banana singer Yasuko Onuki is selling her band’s merch when I walk in. She then calmly places a cloth over the CDs, along with a note explaining that sales will resume after the set, walks to the stage and suddenly morphs into one of the most ferocious and colorful frontwomen I’ve ever watched perform.

3. The quartet’s live show is a lot like its albums—quick bursts of wild energy, weird guitar sounds and Onuki’s squealing vocals—but with a massive mosh pit.

4. Bunkhouse booker Patrick “Pulsar” Trout, who’s promoted a ton of shows over the years, tells me he’s putting this one in his all-time top 5. Sounds about right.

5. It’s disorienting walking out into the still night air after spending an hour inside the humid, smoky Bunkhouse with a roomful of bodies bouncing off one-another as a band fills the space with extreme sounds. It’s even weirder when my car starts to an NPR discussion about tree diseases in England. Then again, I did start my night at the Morrissey show …

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