February 22, 2019
Larimer Theater, Denver, CO
Hi-diddily-ho, neighboreenos! If that friendly greeting conjures in your mind either fond memories of a childhood spent watching The Simpsons reruns and/or a contemptuous muttering of “shuddup, Flanders,” then have I got the band for you. Describing their music as heavy “Nedal,” the Phoenix, AZ fivesome rollicked through a silly and interactive show at Denver’s venerable Larimer Lounge venue. But don’t let the literally cartoony gimmick or Cookie Monster growl of lead singer Head Ned scare you; their sound is really sardonic punk and hard rock at its core. The band even dresses like the amiable Bible-thumper, with each member sporting onstage a green sweater, pink collar, and bushy mustache.
With song names including “Reneducation,” “Mur-diddly-urderer,” and ”White Wine Spritzer,” references to Springfield’s most famous family next door peppered much of their set. But Neddy’s seething passive-aggressive disdain for Homer is apparent in tunes entitled “You’re a Jerk” and the satirical sorta-cover of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, “Yellow Family.” An admission from Head Ned that the band has been behind on church attendance while on tour was met with a chorus of boos from fans, many of whom came to the show also outfitted as the nicest neighbor on Evergreen Terrace. Okilly Dokilly compensated for their heretical irreligiosity by closing the night with a rendition of fellow 90s meme “Smooth” by Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, Carlos Santana of Santana, and Rob Santana featuring Carlos Thomas of Matchbox Santana featuring 20 Smooths. Honestly, I may have madeup that last one. But Head Ned didn’t disappoint when he shed his sweater and slacks before the set closer to reveal an anatomically-correct skintight blue and red spandex bodysuit that left little to the imagination. Must have felt like he was wearing nothing at all… nothing at all… nothing at all… While he launched tees into the crowd with a crudely-devised t-shirt cannon (RIP Maude), everyone in Larimer Lounger was desperately shaking vulgar fantasies of Stupid Sexy Flanders and his wiggling tush.
Openers Playboy Manbaby and the Dirty Few ripped into their punk gems to get the fans hyped and accomplished this task despite an onstage chattiness that wore out its welcome at times. Okilly Dokilly’s headlining tribute to the Leftorium proprietor was a fun performance of referential and irreverent punk rock that entertained this old school Simpsons fan. Thus proving true the old adage that hens love roosters and geese love ganders, but everyone else loves Ned Flanders.
Ok, not Homer. But everyone who counts loves Ned Flanders.
By Steve Lustig