Smaller concerts surprise and disappoint

Mustache Required was avoidable; The Hood Gang attracts a crowd

Kristine McPherson Apr 20, 2009

Amid all of the games and excitement, Mustache Required took the side stage at this year’s Carnival. Mustache Required is a two-member hip-hop/punk/pop band from Pittsburgh. During the performance, the lead singer, MC Mystery, wore a Girl Talk t-shirt and superhero glasses. The band ran into some technical difficulties when the singer couldn’t hear his own music from the stage, but then everything came together and the show became enjoyable.

“When I heat up a Pop Tart, I eat it with cereal,” was the classic line MC Mystery used to open his first song. His music was basically a mix of rapping and talking. He performed a song entitled “Test Wall,” which got a great reaction from the audience, although the audience was only 20 people at the time.

Some might find parts of the performance and content of the band’s music funny and others may find it offensive. MC Mystery displayed his wild streak when he sang a song about wanting to kiss a guy. He jumped into the audience and sat on the lap of — no, straddled — two male audience members and pretended to kiss them.

What took the cake in terms of controversy was the song “Pizza by the Slice,” in which MC Mystery sang about an 11-year-old getting an abortion because he thinks abortions are hilarious. These are all jokes, but the content of the songs was definitely shocking.

MC Mystery offered the audience the choice of hearing about sexual obscenity or 9/11, and the audience, consisting of mostly teenagers by this time, chose sexual obscenity. He advised the listeners to do some pretty intense sexual activities and then “smack a ho.”

After his wild stunt of jumping into the audience, flailing arms, and knocking over chairs, pretty much the entire audience had had enough and decided to leave. Clearly, the band did not get a great response. Mustache Required released Bottom Half Swimmer this January. The CD may be better entertainment than the live concert since it is just music and no performance.

On a brighter note, the next performance was entertaining from the start. Inside the tent, surrounded by people, was a man in gold sneakers and gold tights walking around the crowd, banging a tambourine. Another man, wearing a cape and a helmet, was standing on stage holding a microphone. The guitarist was in a dress, the drummer was wearing a bowtie with no shirt, and the bass guitarist wore a Fred Flintstone outfit with a thick black mustache and muscle sleeves — and that’s not all — the man on the bongos wore a pajama suit with slippers and a matching hat. These are the members of The Hood Gang.

The band calls itself the “undisputed No. 1 Most Partyingest Band” on its MySpace page. Needless to say, the band gives off the air of being able to easily entertain. The progressive/glam/crunk band from Pittsburgh, no doubt, was prepared to show the audience why they were the “most partyingest band” in Pittsburgh.

The music was pretty thrilling and the performance was very exciting. Although there was some jumping into the audience and rolling on the floor, none of the audience members were seen getting up and running away from the performance. In fact, the more they performed, the more of an audience they drew in. Bystanders and carnival-goers stopped to listen to music and look at the show. The performance was more of an engaging one, but it did not last very long. The band played for 20 minutes and then the performance was over.

The crowd was clearly entertained and wanted more, but the band was finished. The band did start back up after stopping three times though, tricking the audience into thinking they were going to continue their performance, only to be fooled by the cessation of the music.

The Hood Gang appeared to be a hit with the crowd as audience members walked away singing “partaayyyy, parrttaayyyy,” a line from one of the band’s songs.