From blushing proposals to gushing fake blood, this week was all about audience engagement.
On Nov. 7, Portland, Ore.'s Typhoon invited a member of the audience on stage at Visual Arts Collective to propose to his girlfriend. According to Boise Weekly's Josh Gross, there were cheers when she accepted, but there were even more cheers when the band cut into its next song.
"The genius of Typhoon is in its seeming contradictions. It is a giant band with a delicate touch," said Gross. "It has epic instrumental arrangements with vocals like a hushed admission of guilt. A ukulele is strummed with a near-windmill motion. Even Morton's guitar seems bigger than he is."
Gross also swung by the Idaho Book Extravaganza's Author Awards ceremony Nov. 8 at Beside Bardenay.
"After an open nomination process and juried judging, 29 awards were given in seven categories from around 50 books nominated for judging," noted Gross. "Many of the authors took home several awards. ... Top honors in fiction went to Alan Heathcock, for his story collection Volt, and to Kevin Carson in nonfiction, for his book The Long Journey of the Nez Perce."
That same evening, BW's Andrew Crisp raised his glass at the Sippin' in the City event hosted by the Idaho Wine Commission at the Linen Building.
"On Nov. 8, the second iteration of Sippin' in the City sold out once more, though organizers capped attendance at 225 people instead of 250," said Crisp. "Visitors piled into the Linen Building to circulate between 15 stations manned by winery staff."
While some were swilling vino, others were making a helluva ruckus at Red Room Nov. 8 for Wyoming punks Teenage Bottlerocket. According to Gross:
"After a blazing opening set by locals Hotel Chelsea, which was performed with the sort of fiery energy one rarely sees outside of a cocaine bender, and the best kind of drunkpunk shitshow from The Useless--which argued, broke amps, forgot songs and blamed the whole thing on 'not being blackout drunk for a change'--the Wyoming band took the stage."
But Gross said the crowd was even rowdier than the bands.
"MVP is awarded to the old guy in the National Guard fishing cap who freak-danced ladies in the mosh pit, stage-dived and took off his fake leg to shake at the band as a threat that they better keep the rock going," said Gross.
And speaking of keeping the rock going, costumed metalheads Gwar stormed the Knitting Factory stage Nov. 8. According to BW's Harrison Berry, Gwar "killed" a number of figures, including "a priest, who sustained a blow to the head from a battle axe with grace and aplomb," "Adolf Hitler, who was accused of being a 'complete asshole' before having his eyes and brains ripped from his skull" and "President Barack Obama, who was also hacked to pieces."
Berry added: "All of these deaths were accompanied by jets of pink gore that sprayed deep into the audience."