This performance was actually kind of amusing. I’m not trying to be snarky or just crack jokes on John, it really was funny.
I think John Maus might be like Crystal Castles in that you have to be familiar with his music before you see him live. I went to accompany my friend Stephanie who is a fan of his music, so I wasn’t familiar with him when I got there. John was dressed very casually, no costumes. No bold, attention grabbing style. He looks just like any other person you would pass on the street.
He had a laptop or something, I couldn’t tell from where I was standing. And he was playing his music and basically screaming along to it. He wouldn’t wait until a track ended either, he would just cut off the end and skip on to the next track. Stephanie told me that isn’t the way he sounds in his recorded music. He did a lot of jumping around, a lot of pulling on his own hair and he was making faces. It was hard not to laugh.
The only way I can describe it is-he looked like a little kid having a temper tantrum + a teenager jumping around in his room singing and dancing along to his favorite music + an aerobics workout. Now, that doesn’t mean that I think he’s a joke. I don’t. Behind his screaming I was paying attention to his music and it sounded great. So I am going to check his stuff out. Even though the performance was kind of funny from the point of view of someone who wasn’t a fan, it was cool to see someone just go crazy. I get it, that’s how he feels his music, I can respect that. Although I have to admit, the cynic in me did question whether the joke was on us. I go to a lot of shows and after a while you start to wonder if all of these people take themselves seriously, or are some of them just trying to see how ridiculous they can be and still be taken seriously. But in the end, I think he was genuine.
What added to the experience was the fact that most of the audience was just standing around bobbing their heads along, except for a about 3 people who were really getting into it. Also, there was a girl in front of me who smelled like death and destruction. Every time she raised her arms while she was dancing, everyone behind her took a couple of steps back. So that was unpleasant, to say the least.
Anyway, do see John live, but listen to his music before you do.