Doctor Striker At The Redwood Bar, Wednesday April 25th 2018
Look at this website, and don’t tell me you are not impressed! This looks like a Marvel comic book and Doctor Striker certainly want to be your new heroes. The little band from Oakland performed at the Redwood Bar on Wednesday night, just one day before the craziness of tonight, as the Longshot (Billie Joe Armstrong’s new band) is taking over the tiny venue on Thursday.
Be assured that, even during a short performance, frontman Paul Richter is gonna croon, yell, do crazy acrobatics and strip in front of everybody, with the most positive attitude and the bolder pauses you can imagine.
The electro-synth-pop duo (there are apparently more people in the band but they were only two performing at the Redwood) played a few of their nerdy songs dressed up in white lab coats scientists, in front of surprised people, who didn’t expect to see Richter running around the place as he did. He never blinked once and continued his out-of stage antics, climbed on the bar while being direct about sex during a song or very positive about going to the gym, during ‘Be a Man, Go to the Gym’
‘This song is about sex!’… they are all about sex’….‘This song is about kicking ass’… The two jokers looked as disciplined and serious as you could imagine while singing their crazy songs, and the scene became hilarious when Richter got half naked, revealing an all-American underwear. Meanwhile the guitar solos were competing with the electronic computer soundtrack as they were drawing influences from all over the place, from heavy metal-ish riffs, synthetic textures and strident guitar solos… While the delivery was often as cold as a robot, they had strange hooks and unexpected boosts of guitar energy, like during ‘Our Job is to Party’ becoming as satirical as their other very fitting song about ‘becoming a cyborg’.
I am not going to lie, watching Doctor Striker in action was a strange experience, with Richter crooning and living his songs to the fullest, and sometimes sounding if he was auditioning for the next Broadway musical. Their lyrics are said to be inspired by his upbringing in recession-battered metro Detroit and subsequent life in Oakland, and they were mixing political commentaries with personal self-reflections in a sort of dorky and false (?) optimistic way. It was always difficult to realize what was going on, but he ended up crawling on the floor surrounded by perplexed but very amused bar costumers… Also, you must remember, their job is to party and they will party till it hurts.