Like most superheroes and supervillians, it's hard not to take a guess at the true identities of Wisconsin's pop punk gem, Masked Intruder. After getting a close look at all four members, I can confirm that none of them are Mikey Erg. The verdict's still out on whether or not they're real life Ninja Turtles.
When I followed the band on Twitter last night, I thought for sure that I'd discovered that the band was secretly Teenage Bottlerocket. Not a bad theory, except that TB is currently on a European tour.
The true identities of Masked Intruder don't matter that much. While it's fun to know that The International Superheroes of Hardcore are really New Found Glory, Masked Intruder's anonymity is part of the appeal.
When I interviewed Intruder Blue last week, he warned me that a parole officer would be on hand to arrest people who weren't having fun. Sure enough, when he introduced "Mr. Wet Blanket himself, Officer Bradford," the band's merch guy, dressed in a costumey police uniform, flipped off the crowd and dove into the crowd during "How Do I Get to You." No arrests were made, but the parole officer succeeded at boosting audience participation by dancing and grabbing fans by the shoulders throughout the show.
Midway through the set, the band split the crowd, asking the guys to go "to the side closest to the door," encouraging them to leave, so that the band would have more opportunities to talk to the ladies. This transitioned to "Heart Shaped Guitar," as a woman named Cherry Pop was brought on stage to sing along.
The band responded to heckling well--teasing a crowd surfer that got up between songs, as well as Intruder Blue mocking the fans shouting out "Go green!" by saying "We've got some environmentalists in the crowd tonight."
The band played most, if not all of its material, as well as a cover of The Outfield's "Your Love" before the crowd demanded an encore. "We don't got no more songs," Blue said in his Midwestern drawl, but the band stuck around for a Teenage Bottlerocket cover and one more round of opening song "Stick 'Em Up."
A Monday night show at a bar can definitely be hit or miss, but both Masked Intruder and Elway put on great sets that managed to get fans on their feet. For relatively new bands, both had a pretty solid following, so I'm sure we're bound to hear more from Masked Intruder and Elway in the future.Setlist
(approximate): Stick 'Em Up 25 to Life Plead the 5th Unrequited Love How Do I Get To You I Don't Want to be Alone Tonight Your Love (The Outfield cover) Why Don't You Love me in Real Life? I Fought the Law (but the Law Beat the Shit Out of Me) Breakin' ADT Security Am I Only Dreaming Heart Shaped Guitar Gimme Parole Hello Beautiful No Excuses Crazy Wish You Were Mine
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Encore: Teenage Bottlerocket Cover Stick 'Em Up