Astronauts, bright lights and interspace–STRFKR brought their galactic vibes to the Gothic Theater on Thursday night. The Portland group, founded and fronted by Joshua Hodges, is touring after the recent release of their incredibly addictive new album, Being No One, Going Nowhere (seriously, if you haven’t listened to it yet, check it out). The last time STRFKR was in the area was earlier this year when they played in both Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, but this time they have a brand new album optimized for live performances and even a new band member.
“We have a bunch of new songs and a homemade light wall made of greenhouse siding with lights running through. Keil, the drummer, programs the lighting that we have so it syncs up with the show. We’re pretty hands-on and try to do everything ourselves.” – Joshua Hodges in our Q&A before their show.
The band came on stage paired with a couple dancing astronauts and colorful lights. Hodges, well, he was in drag. He sported a tight-blue-sequin gown, a short black wig and large sunglasses. I had heard rumors about Hodges’ love for concert-drag but had never had the opportunity to see it for myself. It was awesome. Hodges presented the I really don’t care what you think about it attitude oddly tinged with modesty. His comfortability and confidence in the drag–whether because it’s a part of him or something he just thinks is fun–only made the crowd more excited to be there. The pleasant surprise of a man in a dress giving an incredible live music performance was the icing on the cake. Girls just wanna have fun, right?
The astronauts danced to hits like “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” and “Atlantis,” jumping up-and-down and even getting a little risque at points. The energy they provided fueled the packed crowd, especially when the dancing evolved into crowd surfing whether solo or atop an inflatable boat. In addition to the astronauts, a light-up drone was even flown over the crowd complementing the show’s spacey and futuristic vibe.
“I felt like I wanted to make an album that would translate well to a live show and I think this one does.” – Joshua Hodges in our Q&A before their show.
“In the End,” “Leave it All Behind” and “German Boy” were some favorites of the night, but the band played an enormous selection from all of their albums. Covering hits, new material and fan favorites alike, STRFKR’s setlist didn’t disappoint. The audience moved throughout the whole show, plagued by the flawless coordination between the lights and music which made dancing irresistible.
STRFKR closed the show with “Julius” and hit single “While I’m Alive.” By the conclusion, it was certain that the band fulfilled their promise of their new album. It was indeed a great live show. The show was strange, incredibly fun and filled with feel-good vibes. Though each show’s expectations will keep you on your toes, STRFKR is guaranteed to bring an incredible lighting system, an unforgettable stage presence, a strong dedication to their fans and much more.