Walking to the Brick and Mortar Music Hall on Halloween night for the Nobunny show, I was disappointed by how few costumed people were roaming the streets of San Francisco. Doesn’t anyone have time for fun anymore? Turns out I need not have worried. My Halloween-loving peers pulled through, turning the small, darkened venue into a veritable haunted house full of Jedi, devils, skeletons, cats, and so much more.
After dancing and moshing through four punk-and surf-tinged opening bands, the sold-out crowd was dripping with sweat, facepaint was a distant memory, and bruises were already beginning to materialize. Despite long delays between sets and fast-flowing booze, the crowd stayed amazingly positive for a Halloween punk show. When Nobunny still hadn’t come on by one in the morning, instead of growing tired and restless, the crowd seemed only to be getting more excited — and very, very drunk.
Still riding the high from Shannon and the Clams’ awesome, hits-heavy Misfits set — Oakland’s Shannon Shaw makes a better Danzig than Danzig — the crowd was ready and rowdy when Nobunny finally crawled onto the stage on all fours. His tangled hair, creepy, matted mask, and single scissorhand (a la Edward) looked quite at home in the costumed crowd. Barefoot, he hopped around the stage in a frenzy, bouncing, gyrating, howling, and snarling at the audience.
One moment I was watching some girls in the front row spank Nobunny’s cutoff-covered behind, and then after looking away for no more than two seconds, I turned around to see the infamously clothing-optional artist crouching on the stage in nothing but a moth-eaten sweater. Barely acknowledging his state of undress, Nobunny continued his commanding performance and full-body dance spasms.
Charging around the stage, phallus flopping, Nobunny made sure that this would be a Halloween to remember. Even though his was one of the shortest sets of the night, sadly clocking in at only about 30 minutes, Nobunny made every song count. He ripped through Halloween favorites like “Purple People Eater,” “The Monster Mash,” and “Ghostbusters” with lightning-charged energy. His husky, growled vocals lent a welcome grunge tinge to the classic tunes, and the audience responded gratefully, dancing and slamming into each other with renewed vigor.
About six songs in, he rasped, “This is our last song. It’s called, uh…any requests?” After a playful argument with audience members and a lot of name calling, the band charged through one final song before Nobunny shouted “Happy Halloween!” and hopped off the stage and out into Mission Street, leaving his pants behind.