The line between camp and cool seems to get blurrier every day.
American culture finds itself careening towards some sort of epic showdown between an all-encompassing sense of irony and the foreboding status quo upheld by societal standards.
The signs of this self-conscious admission of unabashed fun and nerdishness are everywhere. Obnoxious t-shirts, Adult Swim, punk going dance and the near omnipresent trucker hat.
Mish-mashing all sorts of embarrassing influences seems to be the modern zeitgeist of American culture. It is only fitting that the band writing the theme song for these times is from the far-off land of Denmark.
This past Halloween, Danish dance/rock/folk/techno/rap/fun sensation Junior Senior brought their infectious Euro party charms to Philadelphia’s North Star Bar.
Taking the stage in the costume of, well, quite frankly, the happy go lucky, multi-sexual, beat-heavy, dance-crazed Danes that they are, Junior Senior wasted little time getting down with their bad selves.
The stage was filled with band members as part-time front man, full-time party animal Senior struggled to contain his larger-than-life zest for boogie.
With song titles like “Move Your Feet,” “Shake Me Baby,” and “Dynamite,” it is almost impossible to imagine a Junior Senior performance without a crowd more than happy to move along.
As soon as the bass kicked in, the audience was all over the floor, turning the tiny venue into their own international Hallows Eve Dance Extravaganza.
While all the booty shakin’ goodness was right where it should have been, there was something amiss in the performance. That something was Junior.
It seems that the tender European had come down with something and was unable to sing. It is a testament to his hard-party nature that he still took the stage to hold down his patently retro guitar stylings.
The band didn’t miss a step, employing a back up singing squad to cover Junior’s parts while he recuperates from his illness.
Junior Senior did well by keeping the set fast-paced. This is something that many modern bands seem to forget from time to time. Junior Senior understands that people just want to rock, and rock they will.
There were no theatrics or distractions. There was no slowing it down for the ladies. Even the extremely tongue-in-cheek closer, “White Trash,” moved the crowd to motion, while Senior left his post at center stage to mix it up with the kids down font.
It is a rare band that can just come in and get a crowd to shake the cobwebs out of their minds while still leaving a smile on their faces.
Junior Senior might be the perfect mix of All-American influences, and it shouldn’t be a surprise they have traveled from far and wide to bring us the fun and funk.
Sometimes it takes an outside eye to see what truly makes something great.
Robert James Algeo can be reached at email@example.com