An hour and a half into the bands’ performances at last Wednesday’s Nobunny show, I was pretty sure I was going deaf. I mean this in the best way possible, of course. It was a voluntary deaf. A punk rock deaf. In between set breaks, I heard the distant sound of severe thunderstorm warnings, and yet I couldn’t take my eyes off of the stage or inch myself to safety away from the room’s speakers. If you left the show that night hearing anything but subtitles, then sorry to say it: you were somewhere else entirely.
With the smell of what I’ll lovingly refer to as ‘punk funk’ wafting through the air, openers Bad Sports and Lonesome Savages kept the fuzz going throughout the night. A special performance from Madison’s own The Hussy however deserves special acclaim. The dizzy twosome got everyone’s heads zombie nodding throughout their set, and in between crescent kicks to his own tuning pegs, lead singer Bobby Hussy was suave enough to bring listeners closer for a “slow one” before karate kicking temples back towards the bar. Drummer Heather Hussy kept the cymbals crashing like broken glass. A couple of guitar surfs, body surfs, and crowd splashings later, The Hussy had invaded the collective psyche and left with hearts in their back pockets.
And then entered the bunny.
With a press kit that boasts “songs as catchy as herpes,” Nobunny didn’t disappoint. In true punk rock form, the average Nobunny song clocks in at about two and a half minutes, so there was plenty of opportunity to pack the set with a plethora of tunes, both old and new. Even with excellent backing from a jean-vested trio, the man behind the crusted bunny mask, leather jacket and man-panties was God. It’s hard to look elsewhere when a man dressed in women’s hosiery is stuffing a microphone down his crotch while singing “Treat me cruel/treat me cruel/treat me cruel.”
By the third song, I was trying to wade into the mosh pit for a band photo with little success. Cuts like “Blow Dumb” and “Live It Up” sent the crowd into such a frenzy that I realized too late that I’m getting too old for this crap. “Senseless moshing favors the young,” a wise man once said, while wearing sandals to a punk show is a recipe for a sprained ankle.
It was at that moment that people began beating the shit out of each other and cans of PBR hurtled towards the stage. But the stripper-like splendor of the man behind the mask played on, until in the blink of an eye and a somersault out the back door, the bunny had left the building.
And how did the bunny enjoy his time in Madison? We asked him in a post-show e-mail interview:
*Nobunny’s responses have been left unedited.
What did you think of The Frequency?
Stank state street got snacks on snacks
Had a good time
Holy hussy heck
Gabba gobble turkey
Hope to be back
How is the punk lifestyle treating you all after a decade of hard rocking?
Punk to me means no rules.
Freedom to explore.
With no brakes. No blinders.
Digging deep in the dirty dirt.
Knowledge of reality.
With great power chords comes great responsibility to all involved.
Free to be dumb.
Freedom to fear.
Highway to motel hell.
My way and all is well.
You displayed great dexterity as a performer. Do you by any chance do yoga?
OH NO! IT’S NOBUNNY!
I DO THE STOOGE!
If you were to do a sound bite for underwear commercials, what would you say is the benefit of briefs over boxers?
Put your stuff in briefs!
If they day ever comes where the bunny mask is to be retired, will it be locked in an attic somewhere, fed to the flames, or passed down Batman-style to a worthy successor?
What bunny mask?
—concert review and interview by Austin Duerst
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