By Gilchrist Green, contributing writer
Palisades was almost empty when Milk Dick took the stage on Friday night. The avant-rock Brooklyn three-piece that claims ownership of the repugnant name took the stage and the crowd, not really paying attention, did not stop talking. The stage itself gave off an industrial vibe as it was lit with bright white lights, and the walls encasing the stage had been ripped, revealing cardboard-like material underneath. On the wall to the right of the band was a mural of an angel playing a circular trumpet while puncturing it through one of an alien frog’s eyes, and a projected video of the wild west combined with dogs lapping water from their bowls covered the rest of the wall for the entirety of the show. To say the least the vibe was eclectic, DIY, and in no way flashy.
Milk Dick’s front man Mike Delaney started the set off by whispering the words “They don’t want my blood/I try to do a good thing/They don’t want the love,” and immediately the crowd snapped into focus. The rest of the song was high energy as Mike sang-talked the story of being denied by the Red Cross three times for reasons such as going to China, having sex with a man, and using IV drugs. For the next thirty minutes, the drummer never took a smile off of her face as she bounced up and down playing simple self-taught beats, and Mike, barefoot in thin patterned leggings, danced around with his guitar, kicking up his legs and wildly stomping them back down to the music. The remainder of the set consisted of various fun and simple songs from each of their releases. The songs touched on the mundane topics of being a straight male but sometimes wanting to check out guys, going to a renaissance fair and eating turkey legs, love, relationships, and waking up from creepy dreams of electric toads and shooting up speed. As a whole, the band knew how to capture attention by singing relatable, honest, and hilarious lyrics intermixed with spoken words and the occasional burp.
Milk Dick may have shocked and entertained the crowd with their lyrics, but Bodega Bay, New York natives and the headliner of the night, stole the show with their art rock. There was not even enough room for the six-piece to comfortably fit on the stage, but they crowded together and played a show that seemed more like a performance art installment. This show was the band’s last for a while, as they are taking a hiatus to record new material, and they went out with a groovy bang that left the crowd mystified. They danced around in berets singing about consumerism, bodegas, making fun of yuppies, and ATMs, an interest and important symbol for the band. The song that stuck out the most was a jazzy funk tune with a chorus repeating the lines “You can’t knock the hustle.” Overall, each of their songs rang true to our millennial world focused on technology, personal branding, and the virtual reality. Their show was a critique of the messed up world we live in intertwined with a reverence for art, music, and that same fucked up world.