Green Jello is the Best Worst Band in the World

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Bill Manspeaker of Green Jello singing while crowdsurfing at Red Room.
  • Josh Gross
  • Bill Manspeaker of Green Jello singing while crowdsurfing at Red Room Sept. 29.

Green Jello played at Red Room Sept. 29 for the opening night of the Evil Wine Carnival. If you weren't there—and based on mediocre attendance that night, there's a decent chance you weren't—you will be hearing about it from everyone that was for a very long time.

The band—which is really just its singer, Bill Manspeaker, and his cadre of 300-plus locally sourced pickup musicians across the country—began its set with a green Jell-O eating contest that included Manspeaker encouraging particpants to dump the Jell-O into his pants.

"Anyone want to eat this jello that has been on my balls?" he asked.

Then he insisted that several tables and chairs be brought onstage for audience members. But that wasn't enough for Manspeaker. He lined the front of the stage with the audience until there weren't many left on the floor. But he still wouldn't play until everyone gave him the finger and engaged in a chant of "Green Jello sucks."

Then he burst out onstage in the giant headpiece and robes of the Cow God and sang the opening tune of the same name.

For those unfamiliar, Green Jello describes its performances as punk-rock puppet shows, with outlandish costumes and stunts that create characters in the vein of the song. The Red Room show delivered, with giant space robes and glittering light wands, puppet heads and an inflatable pumpkin.

Eventually, Manspeaker demanded the rest of the audience join him onstage, even going to the bar and forcing the last few holdouts up onstage. Then he stood atop a table in the center of the dance floor and sang back at the audience before climbing back onstage to crowdsurf in the narrow gap between the audience's heads and the ceiling as a gang of drunken, rowdy puppets stomped around in a circle pit.

If you're wondering what this all looked like, stay tuned, because Boise Weekly shot a lot of the show on video for an upcoming episode of Scenes From a Scene.

But know that not every band could get away with this sort of schenaniganry, and Green Jello has proudly proclaimed itself the worst band in the world for more than 30 years. But to pull off a show like that, you have to have an audience willing to go along for the ride, eager to sing every word and dress up like an idiot, and you only get there by putting in the work. If Green Jello is the worst band in the world, then it is the best worst band in the world.


The many puppet heads of Green Jello.

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