Let’s start off with the good: The highlight of the night was a two-person mosh pit that broke out during a rendition of what I believe was the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” theme song. Another memorable moment was a guy hopping up from his bar stool to accompany the Screaming Infidels’ guitarist in singing the theme song from “The Addams Family.” You may notice a trend here: It’s not typical for a punk rock show to peak with themes from TV shows.
Turtle power! The Screaming Infidels hit the Fellini’s crowd with some memorable TV theme songs during a Wednesday night set.
But the Screaming Infidels’ performance at Fellini’s #9 on Wednesday was full of atypical things. An array of barflies that appeared more in line with “Cheers” than the Dead Kennedys bobbed their heads eagerly to the trio’s dissonant clang. A band described as “punk rock” played a two-set show in a sleek Italian restaurant (and they’re regulars). A bartender attentively brought me fresh bottles of beer just as I was finishing the previous one. This is not what I’m used to at a show. I’m used to cross-armed foot-tapping hipsters, stretching on my tip-toes to see the stage, jostling to the bar to grab another drink and no TV tunes whatsoever.
I’m not against places where everyone knows your name, good service or TV themes, but not long after the Infidels began playing, I was bored. Despite the decibel level, the show dragged along and the band failed to jolt me from a few beers’ worth of grogginess. Beyond the theme songs, the night was a blur of plodding rhythms, loudness and mediocrity. I watched the passersby who gawked through the open windows and wished that, like them, I could be on my way home.
But, recognizing the chance that something amazing could happen if I left, I stuck it out to the end. Unfortunately, nothing topped the “Turtles” theme. If scheduled openers Accordion Death Squad had showed up, the variety might have made for a fun evening. Or if the vocals hadn’t been drowned out by the treble guitar, maybe the band’s lyrics would have struck me. But, as it was, I left unimpressed and happy to be set free into the summer night.