The story of Simon and Milo continued in its full 2D glory at Sugar Nightclub as animated Canadian pop group Prozzäk finished a two-month tour in our fair city.
With inflatable full-body versions of the love-forlorn characters at the back of the club set up for selfies, and gigantic stuffed heads (just the top halves, mind) on stage (for easy identification of which human = which cartoon), the nostalgia ran high in the room full of 20-, 30-, and 40-somethings looking to live Forever 1999 (the name of this tour and their new album) and whatever it meant to them.
Jay Levine (the self-defeated Simon) James Bryan McCollum (the beefy, encouraging Milo) performed in dark clothes behind their caricature heads, mostly backlit, while their female vocalist/DJ/hype human Catey Shaw brought all of the energy befitting a Prozzäk show. Honestly, she really made the performance. Without her, the show might’ve been quite underwhelming.
She kept the crowd going throughout, occasionally taking Instax photos (the tour was sponsored by Fujifilm) of Jay or James and giving them to lucky (and super-excited) audience members. And, of course, she lent her vocals to the parts of the much-sought-after females of Prozzäk songs.
Some new tracks — which sound intentionally, gloriously like the old tracks — were peppered in with a night of The Hits, while the voices of those singing along almost overpowered the band’s vocals (which were mostly prerecorded, but nobody minded; it can’t be easy to hold an accented character voice for an entire show). Hands were high, claps were syncopated, and screams were loud throughout the night.
Strange Disease, Omobolasire, www.nevergetoveryou, one of their newer singles Baby I Need Your Love (Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat), and their latest single from 2017, Love Me Tinder, all flowed wonderfully from one to another, because the Prozzäk sound is formulaic, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s all dated, glorious, and guiltily pleasurable.
I’m a big fan of what I call obfuscated intros. This (as I define it) is when a band sneaks a big hit song on you with a longer or different intro which you don’t recognize, and those screams of familiarity when everybody gets it are fantastic.
They did this with their final song, which was, of course Sucks to be You.
The show ended at 10:30 pm, but the venue was booked ’til midnight, so that the band could come out and take photos with every fan who wanted one.
All in all, this was a really good show, in every sense of the word. Good music, good nostalgia, good feelings, good fan service. Maybe that’s the way the world was in 1999. I doubt it, but one can hope.