Smile Politely

It’s a Man Man Man Man world

Although everyone gets in on the percussion game in Man Man, Chris “Pow Pow” Powell is the one with the title of drummer for the experimental Philadelphia outfit. “The thing that’s really great about playing in this band is that everybody plays a ton of different instruments,” Powell related, “so it just happens naturally. We end up having … there ends up being percussion all over the place. It’s definitely a very percussion-heavy band.”

Man Man is a couple weeks into a co-headlining tour with Bloomington, Indiana’s, Murder By Death, whom we profiled last week. Man Man has been down this road in the past. “We’ve done it in the past before,” Powell said. “We did one other tour a few years back with Cursive. Essentially, whichever town we’re playing, you go by whoever has a bigger market, and that band headlines.” In this case, MBD will be playing the lead role.

Man Man are known for their live show. Powell describes it thus: “If you like dancing, get up front. We run the whole set, there’s no breaks, there’s no banter. We just rock it for however long the set ends up being. It’s just a party — a lot of fun, a lot of dancing. If you’re into dancing, get up front.”

If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, here’s a taste of what you can expect tonight:

With that kind of high-energy show, it’s only natural that Powell has a vast stock of wild stories from concerts past: “We have a bunch of different instruments, and we can get pretty aggressive on our instruments at times. One of the guys who used to play in the band, his keyboard wasn’t working, because he was just smashing the crap out of it. So, we’re backstage in Vancouver, and some drunk chick ends up vomiting on his keyboard, and it worked ever since. She repaired it.”

And what of the keyboard now? “It’s still there, man. It still works.”


Man Man plays The Highdive tonight, Tuesday, February 19 as part of the Pygmalion Music Festival Spring Show Series. Doors open at 7 p.m., Damion Suomi goes on at 8, followed by Man Man at 9:00 and  Murder by Death at 10:45. Tickets are $17 at the door.

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