April 01, 2018 @ Brighton Music Hall
By: Maya Dengel
Given the show Superorganism put on Sunday night at Brighton Music Hall, if you had told me I had gone to an exhibit at MOMA PS1, I would have believed you. The 8-person band’s show was so calculated, it felt as though we were watching a production unfold in front of our eyes instead of a standard concert. The show began with the earth ominously spinning towards us, slowly growing towards us as the band members walked out in brightly colored raincoats ringing little bells. The ground began to shake below us, mimicking a moon landing. While we were all shocked by this entrance, we didn’t question it, as we eagerly boarded their spaceship that would launch us into the world of Superorganism for 45 minutes.
Lights pulsed to the beat of “Nobody Cares,” with the too-cool-for-school frontwoman Orono Noguchi’s lyrics of “Sweet relief when you grow up and see for yourself / Nobody cares,” aiding to the effortlessness style of her performance. It felt as though we were all gathered in her basement for a casual house show instead of a concert venue. Noguchi, the youngest member of the group at 17 years old, added a youthful aspect to the rather middle-aged crowd, as she commanded the crowd to join her in performing by joining her fellow bandmates in interpretive dances and head banging.
The band seeped into “Night Time,” with a jarring alarm clock shaking the building, melting into the soft whispers of “Wake up, wake up, wake up.” For a band that is so calculated, they were by far one of the most relaxed groups I’ve seen on stage. Everything about the show – from their movements to visuals – seemed natural, as if thrusting fruit maracas and wearing 3D glasses in public is a daily task. All 8 members were completely emerged in the energy of every song.
“WHAT’S OUR EP AND BAND NAME CALLED?” Noguchi shouted into the microphone. SUPERORGANISM! We responded “AND WHAT ARE ALL OF YOU?” SUPERORGANISMS we shouted, willingly joining their futuristic cult, as the band set up for their self-titled song. If there were people in the audience before this that weren’t dancing, they suddenly felt inclined to join the show, with Noguchi pointing out the role model crowd members who could have easily been on stage with the group.
Surprisingly, I found myself dancing and shouting along to the songs I didn’t initially enjoy from the album. Songs like “Nai’s March,” relied heavily on the visual aspect of video games in order to make the random noises of frog ribbiting and arcade sound effects flow cleanly with the other songs on the album. Behind the band, the words GAME OVER flashed, as prerecorded vocals shouted the advancements of levels, as if the group had stopped to play a quick game of Super Mario Brothers. The members focused their eyes to the ground, slowly swaying as the song faded in. This song was truly meant to be live, as it just sounds like a bunch of random buttons being pushed, and in a way served as a break from the intensive dancing that were accompanied by the previous six songs.
The band finished “Everybody Wants to Be Famous,” and set themselves up for their encore with the song that shot them into stardom – “Something for your M.I.N.D.” With only 10 songs in their repertoire, the encore felt rather forced and a bit awkward, since we all knew this was one of the only song they hadn’t yet played. However, we as the audience played along and the band quickly returned for a one-song encore that had the crowd head banging and thrashing across the floor.
Myself and surrounding crowd members were completely engulfed in Superorganism’s world. By the end of the show we had all become superorganism too. Although the roundtrip T ride was equivalent to the length of the concert, Superorganism put on one of the best concerts I’ve been to in a while. If there’s one band to see in 2018, Superorganism makes the cut.