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Powerman 5000


Powerman 5000

July 20, 1999 @ Tower Records, Boston

In preparation for the release of their latest Dreamworks work, Tonight The Stars Revolt, local ragers Powerman 5000 brought their campy fury to Tower Records for a fan-only concert and signing session. Though the 9:30 “closing” miffed many would-be video renters and late-night music shoppers, the proud few who had garnered the colorful passes to the in-store gig made the most of the staff’s long preparation time to revv-up for the madness to come. Being Rob’s little brother makes PM5K front man “Spider 1” Zombie part of local music royalty. And As Spider got his space suit and goggles on, big brother Rob’s inverted star on Tower’s “Walk of Fame” was not exactly shining, but it seemed to shed a bit of its tarnish. As the assembled press waited among the racks, a testosteroned pack of pierced and tattooed (and even gas masked) fans poured up the down escalator to take their places along the well-used riot rail. Backstage, the other members of the band – Dorian 27, Adam 12, M 33 and Al 3 -- stretched out and chatted with their “VIP” fans (a few of whom they had previously worked at Tower with before hitting it big).
After a brief and to the point intro by Universal man Joe Kara, the strains of Revolt’s familiarly foreboding narrator overtook the PA system, announcing the band’s imminent arrival. Bursting onto the makeshift stage, Spider immediately erupted into a wild dance of dramatic gesticulation and frenetic aerobicizing which included its fair share of Rap star forearm flips. Though the acoustics were not prime from the clearance album section, the crowd was fully into it, posing and jumping right along with Spider and his numbered backers. Combining tremoring bass with massive guitars and pounding percussion which could barely keep up at times, the band also combined new songs such as “Automatic,” “When Worlds Collide,” “Nobody’s Real”, “Supernova Goes Pop” and the pleasantly oppressive “They Know Who You Are” with old-school faves like the tech mosh “Car Crash” from Super Kung-Fu Radio.
After it was all over, the fans dutifully filed outside to line up again in anticipation of meeting their heroes. Despite the repeated waiting periods, the in-store appears to have done what it set out to do -- rile fans into an almost frightening frenzy while keeping-up the Zombie family tradition.

- Matthew S. Robinson
© 1999 M. S. Robinson, ARR


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