Atlas Sound - My Sharona (Cedar Cultural Center, MInneapolis, 02/03/2012)
...things felt a little awkward the moment he [Brandon Cox] initially stepped onstage, his face utterly concealed by a menacing, black, ski mask. But, as he purposefully prepared an intricate guitar-looping framework and launched into "Parallax," all was temporarily forgotten.
The first part of his performance was completely spellbinding. [...]
But then, per request of an obnoxious audience member to hear "My Sharona," things got strange. The transition was stark and instant, as if Cox suddenly felt mocked or distrusting of the audience he had gradually opened dialogue with throughout the course of the night. He obliged to play the song, which at first was generally entertaining. He employed his looping skills again, picking up different instruments along the way and inviting the openers to join him onstage. But it morphed into something bizarre, a unending cover that rivaled the length of a Phish concert and let's get real: "My Sharona" isn't exactly a "jam track."
It was interesting to observe the reactions of the openers. Initially the vibes were positive. The musicians, all fairly young, were clearly honored to be sharing a moment of spontaneity with someone they idolized. 35 minutes later that enthusiasm began to fade. They were visibly uncomfortable and beginning to question the sanity of their esteemed proctor, unwillingly locked in some twisted, Doomsday clock performance of a '70s hit. Yet, "My Sharona" endured still, as did Cox's increasingly awkward interactions with the audience. He asked people to take their clothes off. He shouted seemingly intoxicated defenses about his art. He simulated fallatio. He, to the horror of the Cedar employees, told everyone to pick up their chairs and shake them above their heads. While this behavior in another context could have been viewed as "rock'n'roll" it was unsettling and some people began filtering out of the venue. Eventually, after inviting the audience onstage (which visibly gave the Cedar staff an anxiety attack) he seemed to get the picture that the show was over and bid his adieu, dedicating the show to "the death of folk music and the birth of punk." [#]