STRFKR on stage at cannery
STRFKR at Cannery Ballroom

“First three songs only, no flash, got it?”

“Got it.”

Wednesday night was my first time with a photo pass. I found myself exhilarated, taking orders from a security guard in that barred-off section in the front of Cannery Ballroom with my roommate’s DSLR, trying not to get in anyone’s way. In a few moments, electronic pop/rock band STRFKR would be taking the stage and I didn’t quite know exactly what I was in for.

Lights started to fade up. Band members worked their way onto the stage as a spoken word narration crept in. And then, in an explosion of synths and bass guitar, the set started.

The band’s snappy drumwork and wild synths were complemented perfectly by their visuals, which included an impressive light array and three tireless dancers who roboted, wriggled, and rocked their way through much of the show in full space suits.

Members of STRFKR in a dimly lit backdrop, with three dancers dressed as astronauts in the foreground.
STRFKR and their astronaut dancers.

In addition to a hefty setlist spanning their whole career, STRFKR also played their notable cover of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, accompanied by buoyant pink lighting and effervescent dancing from the astronauts.

Their opener, Shy Boys, played a formidable set of their own, filled with gorgeous musicianship, lush vocal harmonies (refreshing to hear in an indie rock setting!) and soaring Brian Wilson-esque melodies.

Two members of Shy Boys.  One with long brown hair wearing a red jacket and playing a bass guitar, the second with shoulder-length brown hair, a checked blue shirt, and an acoustic guitar.  The lighting is blue.
Shy Boys

STRFKR’s visit to Nashville widened my view of what live music can do. Their whimsical movements and peppy songs intertwined with contemplative, sometimes dark lyrics, crafted a perfectly danceable and engaging experience

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