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Information Society Review

Filed Under Blog, Fun, Photo Journal, Shows, insoc


The show. The SHOW. THE show. Oh my god, what can I say about the SHOW?!

Yesterday, Erik and I drove down to Portland from Seattle with our friends Amber and Erika to see Information Society live in concert at the Crystal Ballroom. The show was amazing. Absolutely amazing. We were able to procure a spot directly at the front and center of the stage, and throughout the long, enjoyable, highly energetic show, we were mere feet from the band.

At first people trickled in, and hung around in groups. A lot of the attendees seemed to know each other, and amplified by the fact that it was held in a large ballroom (complete with chandeliers and wooden floor), at first it felt a little like a high school dance. People were sticking specifically with who they came in with and not talking to anyone else, but after a while the crowd loosened up. I went outside during the “warm-up” band EchoNoEcho - their style wasn’t really my thing - but came back in for the opening band, Son of Rust, who were absolutely worth watching!

It also made it easy to secure a spot directly in front of the stage, in the front row, for Information Society. I swear, it was sparsely populated in the ballroom during Son of Rust’s last song… but as soon as they went offstage, it was packed in there and we had the best place - talk about AWESOME.

InSoc 2.0 - thoughts on the new lineup

You could literally feel the anticipation in the air like electricity as Information Society took the stage one at a time. First the drummer, then Paul, then James, then Sonya, and finally… Chris Anton. The new lead singer. The crowd seemed a little lukewarm to him at first - because, really, when you think of “Information Society” you generally think of their eccentric, charismatic former lead singer, Kurt Harland. The “voice” of InSoc on all the albums. So it’s understandable to be a little doubtful.

And then, silence, and the sampled voice of James Cassidy (yes, that’s Jim) saying “I’m not exactly in the mood for Mozart, and all THAT kind of goings-on.” and the familiar intro to Peace and Love, Inc. I thought it was a good touch to leave the original sample in the song. But, I admit, as Anton began to sing, even I found the first verse of the song jarring - not because Christopher Anton sounded bad or screwed up, but because I’m used to hearing Kurt Harland. Chris Anton isn’t Kurt Harland.


Anyhow, nobody could replace Kurt, and frankly I’m glad Christopher Anton isn’t trying to. Very much his own person, he is a very charismatic, entertaining frontman with the confidence and talent to carry even the original InSoc material (Think, What’s On Your Mind, Walking Away, Repetition, etc) on his own merit without trying to imitate Kurt, while still retaining a sound and style in keeping with the original.

Need “Pure Energy?” InSoc Delivers!

They played a ton of old material as well as a ton of stuff from their new album. Christopher Anton had a few slip ups on the words (but who doesn’t once in a while at a live show? especially when you’re the NEW frontman!) but I really admired his sense of humour and ability to keep from getting flustered when he did something like knock over his mic stand or start the chorus too early. The group has really great chemistry together.

Chris oozed charisma and seemed to be enjoying himself, but James seemed to be having a the time of his life and it was infectious - everyone there seemed to be having a great time. His interaction with the band, the crowd, his props and instruments, brought the show to a whole new level. Sonya is the most adorable ball of energy EVER, I don’t think she ever stopped dancing and jumping around - she’s a great backup singer. All the while, Paul Robb looked VERY sharp in a jacket and tie with (what else?) very appropriate mirror shades and he made sure to show that his skills on the synth haven’t grown dull.

I had such a great time at the concert - I laughed, I cried during the song “Repetition,” I sang along to everything, I cheered, I danced. I occasionally hugged Erik, Amber or Erika out of sheer giddiness. My throat hurts and I’m tired and I’m still in shock that I just saw INFORMATION SOCIETY - for real. Live.

We had hoped we’d get to meet the band and give our regards and congratulations, as well as welcome Mr. Anton to the peanut gallery, so to speak, but we had to bail a soon as their encore was over because the drive back to Seattle from Portland is a long one and it was already around 1:00 AM.

Fashion Update!

Information Society Concert Outfit
My Outfit (click to enlarge)

I usually don’t post frivolous fluff about what I wore to what event or whatever… but I really, really loved the outfit I wore to the concert last night. My hair, makeup, clothes, and shopping karma all worked perfectly to bring together a totally phenomenal outfit that was understated but still unique and attention-getting. Kind of a rivet-new wave-mad scientist outfit with a long coat and a collared shirt and very InSoc-inspired hair, smoky eye makeup and shimmery neutral lipstick.

Believe it or not, I styled my hair in the car in a just a few minutes, but ended up with a sexy, very J-rock/anime angular, semi-spikey style. For makeup, I simply layered on purple-black eyeshadow until i got a smoky intensity of colour, and then lined my eyes along the lashline with black liquid liner, winged at the corners, and smudged, smoky black pencil liner underneath, set with a little of the same purple-black eyeshadow. My outfit consisted of semi-fitted army green pants, rolled up above my ankles, a white button up worn under a tight black tank reading “THIS IS MY STYLE,” and a black, calf-length fitted-through-the-waist cassock-style skirted lightweight coat. It’s very similar to the coat Kurt Harland wears in the “Peace and Love, Inc” music video. And I’ve been wanting that coat for so long I’ve considered having someone custom design and create one for me.

I actually bought the coat an hour or two before the concert, right down the street from the venue. It was adorable, fit like it was made for me, and I’d been looking for a similar coat for a long time. And it was only twelve dollars - marked down to ten! So really, not only did I get to see INFORMATION SOCIETY, I got a really, really awesome new coat. I still might have someone recreate Kurt’s coat for me, though…

More later, I suppose, I am understandably exhausted after the awesomest concert I’ve been to recently. I really LOVED the opening band Son of Rust, but didn’t hear much of the first band. And damn, some of the people at the show were dumb. Especially the girl who decided to try and hump James’ leg and then stagedive…

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