I’m not sure what I expected the crowd at a Euro electro-pop show to look like, but it wasn’t what I saw at the Media Club on Saturday night. Opener Einar Stokka, a college friend of the Casiokids and self described “melancholic act,” played his mellow acoustic rock with notable stage presence, despite the crowd of roughly 25 people tightly hugging the walls of the club. He seemed to think he was still in the US, but was forgiven for that slip after offering his CDs for free at the merch table. Up next was Chicago-based band Light Pollution who did their best to get the crowd up on their feet and “fill the void” with their scratchy, bouncy pop rock, managing to get one solo male jumping around front and centre to the song “Good Feelings.”
For an early show with an 11:00 p.m. curfew, I was surprised when the main act was still setting up at 9:45 p.m., but when the Casiokids finally took the stage just after 10:00 p.m., the crowd was on their feet without hesitation. Opening with “Gront lys i alle ledd,” loosely translating to “Green light at all levels,” the band started an instantaneous dance party. The fact that they sing almost exclusively in Norwegian has no bearing at all on the level of entertainment. This was total infectious fun. How often do you understand the words to half the bands out there anyway? When not singing in their native tongue, it’s often just solid instrumentals, well developed melodies that bring in everything from the slide flute to a perfectly utilized cowbell. The members tend to cluster towards each other on stage amongst the analog keyboard and drum kit, creating a five man sound think-tank.
Dedicating “Verdens største land” (“The World’s Biggest Country”) to Canada, lead singer Ketil Kinden Endresen played to the crowd with his fantastic falsetto and expressive, motivational speakeresque movements. Ending the show with the oft remixed, and my personal favourite, “Fot i hose,” the band was joined by a giant monkey man who bounced around with a pineapple shaker. The show was short but sweet, ending promptly at 11:00 p.m. with no encore, leaving a sweaty happy crowd wanting more.