by John Wenz
Local cartoonist Neal Obermeyer has never shied away from an opportunity to not shut up about Pablo's Triangle.
So I knew he was the right person to stand by last Lincoln Calling when the seemingly bajillion-piece band took the stage. In actuality, it was seven members — Mike Elsener, Jonathan Hischke, Colby Stark, Ben Armstrong, Pawl Tisdale, Matt Focht and Patrick Bradley, who all traded off instrumental duties in some fashion. But when you have two drummers on any one song (four total), a few guitarists and some wailing trumpet on top, it's easy to get things confused.
The band itself is less famous for what they were than what they became — whether that be local favorites The Amalgamators, some members of Bright Eyes' touring band or Chicago art kids Head of Femur. In addition, they had a strong history, including Sideshow drummer Pawl Tisdale.
So there I was seeing what were at least Obermeyer's living legends, and getting blown away by the sheer manic energy of the stage show. To the point, I guess, that I'm writing a review nearly a year later.
From 1994-2000, and then some odd gigs in between, the band played a strange brew of mutant ska, stop-start punk and god knows what else. It was party music with some depth, adding interesting layers of noise on top of basic shake-your-assitude.
At the particular concert I saw, they even broke down to "A Little Respect" by Erasure, fitting seemlessly in with the music.
And that's the thing. A lot of bands have tried to defy pigeonholing or convention, and ended up Genre + Genre. I still can't wrap words around Pablo's Triangle that adequately describe the sound.
So what are you waiting for? This is one of the best, most dynamic offsprings of Nebraska music.
John Wenz regrets a lot of things, but none of them are his love for Erasure. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.