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Five thoughts on Nerf Herder’s Beauty Bar show

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Nerf Herder even played the theme song from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Bill Hughes
Chris Bitonti

• 1. A natural dichotomy of crowds emerged within the packed Beauty Bar on Saturday night—attendees for Say What?!, a fashion/art show/birthday party hosted by IndieKrush.com inside the venue, and the nerd-rock fest headlined by Nerf Herder out in the Trailer Court. But like most high school proms that start in a similar way, all it takes are a few drinks, some live music and one daring soul to cross the gym and get the party started.

• 2. The night started off with some uneasiness and heavy technical difficulties for tour support band Tsar, which unhappily cut its set short after frequently blowing out its amps’ power supply mid-song. Even so, the LA power-pop quartet put on an infectiously entertaining set of throwback-rock reminiscent of Superdrag if T. Rex’s Marc Bolan were on vocals.

• 3. I struggle to find the fairest way to define Nerf Herder’s style. To call the band a novelty act, on par with groups like Bowling for Soup or the Bloodhound Gang, doesn’t do the music justice. But there’s also no denying that Nerf Herder’s songs are hilarious and rarely serious, so I guess they reside in some hybrid subgenre ... maybe substantial parody rock or melodic nerdcore?

• 4. If I had put together a best-of Nerf Herder mix, Saturday night’s hour-and-a-half-long setlist would be a strong starting point. Almost every fan favorite was represented, including “Van Halen,” “5000 Ways to Die,” “Mr. Spock” and “Courtney” (an ode to Courtney Love, though frontman Parry Gripp admitted “I hate this song, and I hope we never meet and she never sits on my face.”). NH even performed the instrumental TV theme song from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

• 5. NH was just as dorky, rocking and awkwardly awesome as my 13-year-old self always imagined they’d be. I’m glad Gripp took a break from scoring YouTube jingles (see: Parry Gripp’s Channel) for a quick trip through Vegas to “Defend the Faith” of live rock once again.

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