Michelle and I paid a visit to the Woodward Theater in OTR last weekend to see Mark Mothersbaugh, artist, composer, musician and founder of Devo. Quick hits:
Fun crowd…oldsters who actually listened to Devo when it was new (like me); hipsters in their brand new Devo tshirts; buzz cuts, baldies and funky multicolored hair styles; a tall transgender woman on the balcony, towering over the crowd; a couple little kids.
Great location…The Woodward Theater is an old locale, reopened for about a year, with the intimatacy of a 1940’s high school assembly hall, which is to say it was very cool.
Mark Mothersbaugh...is as you’d expect. Telescopic glasses, a black and white striped referee shirt, black ref’s hat holding back an enviably thick mop of gray hair, a whistle around his neck, and a personality that is definitely artistic, but with a very “I-could-sit-on-the-porch-and-have-a-beer-with-this-guyishness."
Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra ensemble…80’s new wave meets classical, with a TV theme song and some film scores thrown in. Fantastic musicians with absolutely stunning instruments. How much does a harp run on the open market?
Things 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…Mark’s young keyboardists – although that’s not quite adequate enough to describe them. Attired in Devo-like jumpsuits, each with a corresponding number on the back, they took the stage with Mark, sitting at one of six stations situated around a – you guessed it – six-sided homemade beast of a synthethesized music machine. Damned impressive synchronicity of intricately arranged musical parts. A wonder for the eyes and ears.
We had a very good time. The kind of night that would have been unthinkable in Cincinnati about 5 years ago. But that’s how far this artistic community has come.
There’s an amazing collection of talent in this town, home bred, imported and simply traveling through. You may have missed the concert, but join Michelle and me for the opening of Mark’s exibit, Myopia, at the Contemporary Arts Center on Friday, September 25.
Step outside the mainstream. It’s pretty fun out here!
August 31, 2015