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April 16, 2014

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That Kid Meets Cougar show was something to see

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Fred Morledge

Blink, and you’ll probably miss something cool the next time Kid Meets Cougar plays.

An editor of mine used to insist that I write that I “went to hear a band,” not “went to see a band,” since crowds principally come to concerts for the sounds, not the sights.

Sorry sir, but Friday night, I definitely went to see Kid Meets Cougar.

The local duo’s return to the stage after a 16-month performing hiatus was all about the visuals—and the way they synced up with KMC’s electro-dipped indie tunes. Members Brett Bolton and Courtney Carroll spent some $6,000—raised by way of Kickstarter—on the setup, and judging by the response from the capacity crowd at Friday’s Winchester Cultural Center unveiling, the musicians got their money’s worth.

At the center of it all: a curved 8-foot-tall by 12-foot-wide screen, onto which vivid images were projected behind the band. Four songs were backed by videos from local filmmakers Jerry and Mike Thompson (“Hey Hey,” “Apollo Repeat”), Joel Schoenbach (“It’s All in Your Head”) and Jorrel Belmonte (“Expired Satellites”); others featured sequences created by Bolton and Carroll, timed precisely to their movements. In one, splattering paint multiplied in frequency and spray radius as the drumming onstage intensified; in another, glass shattered as a loud noise sounded.

The videos on the screen were only one dish in the sensory smorgasbord. Separate projections danced across instruments, equipment and Bolton and Carroll’s bodies. A digital clock on Bolton’s chest counted down the seconds remaining in a song. Sparks shot from the two musicians’ silhouettes. A talking robot—spawned as a projection onto an amp—evolved into a full-sized being, dancing onstage and then joining the party on the floor.

And, of course, we got music, some from 2009 LP For Breakfast, some from new EP Sierra Papa Tango. The new material sounded a bit more mature, a touch more nuanced than the old, though it all worked well together. We also got one cover, Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” as the night’s encore. Bolton and Carroll suggested we “chill, till the next episode,” but if KMC’s next episode is anything like this one, chilling till then won’t be easy.

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