Concert Review: The Starlight Mints

Monday, April 27, 2009

[I know this is lame, but I’m just posting something I wrote for my school paper. You can find the original article here.]

The Starlight Mints contributed their pop-like and rather strange brand of indie rock to the Norman Music Festival Saturday night – and for me – were the highlight of the entire festival.

The concert really started moving with their third song “Rhino Stomp,” which – like few other songs I’ve heard – is able to conjure perfectly the image of its title.

For me, I get this image of a rhino stomping around. Being the Starlight Mints, it was pink rhino tromping around in a candy store. But instead of it being a scary picture, it was a strangely happy one.

The music from last night’s Starlight Mints’ concert was highly addicting. After you sit through the first two songs, you’re hopelessly hooked and converted into a Starlight Mints fanboy – or fangirl.

I took two Starlight Mints virgins to the main stage early, in order to get a good spot, telling them nothing more than they were like “a candy-coated, psychedelic pixies.”

It was fun to turn around and see their stunned faces after being rocked by the Mints waves of saccharine-laden notes. But after that shock dissipated, they could enjoy the sickeningly sweet music.

After the concert, I had the “Tra-la-la-la” from “Pumpkin” stuck in my head for hours on end. Combined with dancing puppets from side windows, huge bouncing balls, interpretive dancers weaving their way through the crowd, and singer Marian Love Nuñez’s strange use of a traffic cone to sing through and gesticulate with, last night’s concert series was among the weirdest I’ve been to, if not the weirdest – a quality added to by the concert-goers as much as the music.

The next highlight of the concert came with “Eyes of the Night” off the Starlight Mint’s newest album, “Drowaton.”

When played live, it scares listeners with its trademark scream – not to mention the scariness it imbued when Allan Vest started singing about “cookie monsters” and “screaming motorcycles.” But fortunately, the happy melody kept the lyrics from being scarier than they could have been, and no one was trampled in a madness to flee the scene.

By this point, my friends were fully converted, which is quite a feat as one is a punk/metal person. For this person, I was a little worried that the Mints’ happy candy spell would fail to sucker him in.

The band closed with a few oldies, including “Popsickle,” off their EP of the same name released in 2001, an admittedly strange song of which I’m not a huge fan. But thankfully, they closed with their two of their lead tracks off their first album, “The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of.”

“The Bandit” has to be one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard a lot of catchy songs in my day. Hearing it live was a real treat. “Submarine #3”was also a nice way to wrap up my favorite act from the Norman Music Festival.

If I were to have one nitpicky complaint it would be that they did not play “Valerie Flames,” my favorite Starlight Mints song. But for what it’s worth, The Starlight Mints played a fun and quirky show, like a rollercoaster ride through a land of gumdrop forests and ickily sweet pink lemonade rivers.

But unlike those things, with the Starlight Mints, I couldn’t get enough.

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