Mr. Gnome Sexy-Time at Neurolux


Mr. Gnome onstage at Neurolux
As Mr. Gnome was setting up their mountains of gear on the Neurolux stage Oct. 27, my tablemate leaned over to explain the last time he saw the duo play live.

"They were newlyweds," he said. "It was like watching them make love to each other with their instruments."

While pop music is and always has been about sex, rock music has always been about anger. But the really good stuff is about both. And the raw passion blasting from the stage at Neurolux was straddling a mean fence between the two.

Drummer Sam Meister kept his eyes closed in a trance as he pounded at a drum set that looked almost gnome-sized beneath his hulking frame. Guitarist Nicole Barille's hair hung in her face, Fraggle-like as she howled like a deranged person and tore through riffs seemingly too large for a single guitar.

But rather than just being a wall of noise, Mr. Gnome's music was clean and deliberate. Meister favored the rims of his drums over the cymbals, and Barille could pull it back just as well as she could let it off the leash. It was just as engaging when she busted out the big riffs as when she cut into moody atmospheric passages.

Though it took a ton of gear to make Mr. Gnome's sound, it nonetheless evoked the savagely unhinged feel of the first chords strummed in a darkened garage and the raw nerves it touches on. And though they uttered only a scant few words between songs and employed no onstage shenanigans, Mr. Gnome put on a thoroughly entrancing show that felt every bit the dirty, intimate look inside that my tablemate alleged.