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!
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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.
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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.