!!!, Maus Haus, Sugar & Gold and My First Earthquake all brought their A-game to the Mezzanine last Saturday night.

My First Earthquake, a local electro-pop quartet, opened up the night with their snappy humorous ditties. “Sack Lunch” – about a pervy teacher (Rebecca’s words, not mine) – and “Hot Girlfriend” were the standouts of the night. Lead singer Rebecca Bortman is a born show-woman, ribbing her band mates and chatting up the audience before prompting us to rock the fuck out. “Cool in the Cool Way” (which has an accompanying video about Mission hipsters), with its Nintendo-inspired synth riffs, prompted the band’s coordinated, pixelated outfit accents and closed out the band’s 45 minute set.

(I feel like this guy deserves mention. He came to the show dressed as Tron.)
Tron is a My First Earthquake fan.

Sugar & Gold were a woman down — I was informed by Nicolas after their set that Fatima, their female vocalist, was out sick — but no less sassy for their limited line-up. Sugar & Gold’s set was made up of equal parts of the following: songs from their 2007 full length, Creme, songs from their upcoming album, Get Wet (due out April on Antenna Farm records), sexual innuendo and raccoon tails.

I’ve never left a Maus Haus show anything less than stunned, and ast night was no exception. These six multi-instrumentalists are a truly talented bunch, who were joined on stage by two members of another equally talented local sextet, Battlehooch, for their opening song “Irregular Hearts.” Throughout their set, the band delivered a series of mind boggling renditions of tracks from Lark Marvels and debuted three tracks from their new 7″, Winter. “Reaction,” easily one of my favorite Maus Haus cuts, whipped much of the crowd – myself included – into a flailing frenzy. For a group that was born of bedroom studio sessions, Maus Haus is a truly exemplary live band.

!!!’s set left me mainly with the following questions:

– How does one enthusiastically punctuate a sentence about !!!? e.g. I was blown away by !!! …!! or I really love !!! !

– What are the limits of physical expression about music? Band members and fans were both testing those limits.

– How many people will fit on stage at the Mezzanine? Would filling the stage to capacity do anything to alleviate the happy but dense crowd on the floor?

– How strong is the floor at the Mezzanine? I’m worried this guy next to me is going to stomp right through it.

– How can I make the female singer my best friend? She seems pretty rad.