While you were all home nursing your Ecstasy hangovers, you missed out on the best feel-good show of Ultra -- and possibly the year.
!!! (or Chk Chk Chk) played to what singer Nic Offer noted was about 50 people. Truly, though, the performance wasn't just a total hit with this writer, but the 49 other people who made it out.
Offer spent much of his time jamming and dancing flamboyantly onstage, and the rest of the time singing and dancing in the crowd. He came down and shook ass with one girl, stole her blue top hat and shimmied over to another, dropping it on her head. He then went on eat the mic and shamelessly sing directly at every recording camera.
Even the security guards were nodding their heads, smiling as big as the crowd.
The music was funk and dance with some soul tossed into the mix. The other five band members did their jobs well too. At one point, Offer noted the next song was written by Prince, and then we heard a joking Prince bass line. When things were going wonky for a minute onstage, they didn't know if they were playing any more songs and the guitarist played a little sad sound. Audio jokes! At the end, they brought out a sax and trumpet. The whole thing was magical.
"You know how tough it is to get a cup of coffee at this festival?" Offer asked, and then proceeded to tell a story about getting one that tasted like shit, and how it made him have to take a shit ... Our hearts melted. Scatological talk onstage? This is one chill dude worthy of friendship.
He was the star of the show. He danced on the speakers. He drank a bit from a water bottle and threw it to a fan. He stood for about three minutes just pointing off into the distance and told people in the back of the field to come closer so we didn't feel so divided, jokingly saying, "The energy's much better here, man."
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The last song became sort of an impromptu chant of "I love you" as Offer wooed the audience and even City of Miami itslef. Someone had a Neil Patrick Harris face fan, and he took it, poking a hole in Harris' mouth, sticking his tongue through, and singing.
This was pretty much the most fun to be had at the maddening festival. It was worth getting up early and riding your bike in the intense heat. Totally tops.