Last night, hundred of fans were disappointed as a power outage cut the WCSB Masquerade Ball short, only minutes before punk-favorites Headliners the Dead Milkmen were about to go on. As a favor to the fans that'd been waiting all night to hear them play, the Milkmen played a short set without electricity or amplification. The crowd that grew more and more unruly as the night wore on restrained itself for the "unplugged" set. As the band opened with "Beige Sunshine," the crowd helped out on the chorus, enabling those of us in the back who could barely hear the tune to recognize the song.
Armed with only a snare drum and two unplugged guitars, the band continued on with other hits like "Tiny Town" and "Punk Rock Girl." After five songs, the band decided to call it a night, presumably in part because shouting over a large crowd with no amplification tends to lead to blowing out vocal chords.
The iconic punk group drew a large audience creating a line that stretched from the entrance to Cleveland Public Theatre, around the corner of West 65th St. and Detroit Ave. and then some. Around 11 p.m., an hour before the Milkmen were going on, the building met capacity and there were reports that authorities no longer allowed people to come in.
Dressed in everything from Mario and Luigi costumes to blow-up doll outfits, a sea of costumed concertgoers filled Cleveland Public Theatre's Gordon Square Theatre.
Just as the opener Numbskull left the stage and WCSB representatives gave a short introduction, the lights went out. Initially, it seemed like part of a stage show — the lights go out, some epic music starts playing, flashing lights. Unfortunately, apart from the lights going out, this was not the case.
Not to be stopped by a minor setback like a power outage, the Dead Milkmen relocated to WCSB's studio downtown and played a live set on the radio two hours later. The radio set included songs from the Milkmen's long and storied history and even a couple newer ones from their latest releases.
Last night, the Dead Milkmen showed that they have an immense amount of integrity. Their dedication to not only their art but also their fans is unrivaled.