Tartar Control Solicits Smiles From Unsuspecting Audience
January 16, 2015
Observatory, Santa Ana, CA
I have to admit, when I heard the line up for last Friday night’s show at the Observatory I thought “who’s opening for Dead Kennedys?” Seriously, a kick ass legendary punk band with a few opening acts that I had never heard of sounded suspect, at best. In spite of 13 Stitches Magazine photographer John Mairs’ assurances that I was in for a great night, I wasn’t in a hurry to get inside early. But then the weirdest band I’ve seen since the mid-90’s cult classic Gluey Brothers took the stage. Tarter Control consisted of two geeks dressed like Mormon door missionaries ready to knock and talk. Even weirder, they started the show by talking to a robot, a really lame garage special that stood in one place and blew smoke. I almost went outside for a beer at that point. That would have been a huge mistake! The lead singer, Robert Selander’s “Mr. Rogers” persona was tripping me out until he and guitarist, Sean Hart broke into their rendition of self-proclaimed “Mormon missionary hardcore punk” with a ridiculously great song, “Jesus is Love”. Reaction… “fuck… ummm… okay?!” (That’s actually exactly what my notes on the band said after their first song). I decided to focus my attention on the crowd and their reaction. Slowly people in the front started to Pogo, then a pit formed, then all hell broke loose. Tarter Control had charisma, energy, and well… they put on a pretty damn good show for two geeks, a drum machine, and a robot. As the set progressed I saw the crowd laughing, talking about the weirdness, and loving “those guys” (I must have told over 100 people the name of the band, which was always met by laughter). They won over the crowd and graciously offered themselves up for photos after the show, cardigan, pocket protector, and all. Would I see Tarter Control again? Definitely, they were so fun, I wouldn’t miss them!
Sarah Tonin –
13 Stitches Magazine Reviewer