The Protomen are a somewhat mysterious group of Nashville-based musicians who adopted pop culture-referencing stage names and craft technical ’80s-style rock operas inspired by the videogame Mega Man. If that sentence does not pique your interest, there’s a good chance you’re not The Protomen’s target demographic. If it does, there’s a good chance that you already know and love The Protomen. If you fall somewhere in the middle, I strongly recommended giving them a shot- though their persona and musicality does revolve around a concept, that concept is loose at best and, at their essence, The Protomen are a genuinely fantastic band and an endlessly entertaining live show. Not only is tonight the band’s last hometown show of the year, but also the release show for their cassingle (man I love using that word in 2012) for “Drove All Night” (from their forthcoming covers album- we’re unclear as to exactly whose version of “Drove All Night” they’re covering).
Here’s the video for their song “The Will of One” from their debut album:
In addition to the aforementioned covers album in the works, The Protomen are set to release their third album of originals (presumably more Mega Man-inspired tunes) in 2013, entitled Act III. The band recently premiered a track from Act III at the Pax East video game conference in Boston, and are teasing a repeat performance of that new song this evening. The last time The Protomen played Nashville was 6 months ago for the release of The Protomen Present: A Night of Queen. Not only is their Queen tribute album near perfect, but their accompanying performance was over the top and incredible- expect many of those tracks to be performed this evening as well. And, if their last Nashville show wasn’t great enough on its own, Jack Black actually made a surprise appearance. I wouldn’t hold out for a repeat cameo from Mr. Black this evening (Tenacious D was already in town for a show at the Ryman), but there’s no telling what other surprise guests might pop up!
Supporting The Protomen are Makeup and Vanity Set and Uncle Skeleton. Based out of Nashville, Makeup and Vanity Set are perfectly matched to compliment The Protomen’s synthy, ’80s throwback sound. A bit more ambient and minimalist, the group crafts entrancing, endlessly fun electronic jams. Uncle Skeleton is the brainchild of Nashville’s Ross Wariner. Wariner crafts delightfully soulful, dancy, electronic/ambient music with an experimental twist. You won’t want to miss either band! If you’re looking for a last night out before the holidays get crazy, you can’t go wrong with this one.
The Protomen, Makeup and Vanity Set, and Uncle Skeleton perform tonight at 12th & Porter. The show starts at 9PM (8PM doors) and tickets are still available here.