"Have you ever been to a Tickle Torture show? Ohhhhh, you are in for a real treat!"
On Friday night, the Mainroom at First Avenue was transformed into a space I had never seen before. I had heard the name Tickle Torture many times before, but had never seen one of his shows. My knowledge of past performances was limited to his love for striping down during sets (at times to fully naked), and his affinity for gold. The combination was out there to say the least, and certainly had me wondering what was in store for the evening.
"You've never been to a Tickle Torture show before?!" my buddy Austin asks me in disbelief, "Get ready for this, you've never seen anything like it! His show is like something that doesn't belong in the USA. No one does stuff like this here!"
Earlier that day, I saw Psymun announce that he was bringing K. Raydio with him for his opening performance. Three years back saw the release of the duo's stellar EP "LucidDreamingSkylines", a project that held a special place in a lot of our hearts that were in attendance. The two went through a hearty selection of songs from the project, delivering passionate performances of "Sweet Dreamz" and "Perhaps" as if it was yesterday that they wrapped on recording. In the midst of Psymun delivering his wildly unconventional yet sultry beats, K. Raydio informed us that they had some new music in the works. This news is worth noting, and keeping an ear out for.
Next up was the Minneapolis based indie rockers Solid Gold, a selection that reinforced the theme of the night. A smokey stage gave way to a wave of spacey electronic synth leads and powerful harmonizing vocals that still contained a rock-ability and almost Southern Blues like feel at times. Solid Gold was another name I had heard over the years, but never seen myself until the evening. Overheard from the front row was one fan to his friend "Solid Gold and Tickle Torture in the same night at First Ave?! This is fuckin' amazing!" With support from The Current, it's no secret that this evening was all things Minnesota music at it's finest.
Finally came the moment everyone was so eagerly dancing in anticipation for. A shower of confetti rained down as the neo-disco sounds filtered in while Tickle Torture and his gold-covered dancers stormed the stage. His opening outfit was nothing short of extravagant, wielding a bedazzled headdress with accenting face piece and leather jacket. The heavily disco influenced jams with an emphasis on all things sexual filled The Mainroom and I have a hard time believing there wasn't a single person dancing by this point. After Uncle Tickle busted out a bedazzled bullwhip, which would end up hitting me in the head, it was quickly confirmed that this was like nothing I had ever seen before.
What happened over the next hour is hard to put back into words, and for that reason I'm letting the images tell the story. My main takeaways from this experience was that confetti, balloons, champagne spray, and sex all go together amazingly. The music was fun, upbeat, electro-disco-tastic and the sexual energy in the room was everywhere. The grand finale was the wildest thing I've ever seen at the concert, consisting of about 50+ people pulled onto stage, where I witness to an insane amount of breasts, panties removed, and testicles (sorry, these images were left on the cutting room floor.)
Was everyone I overheard and told me about the things to come right? Yes. Would I go to another Tickle Torture show? Absolutely. It doesn't matter your sexual preferences or orientation, all walks and fetishes were embraced that night. It was quite liberating to see so many taboo subjects and acts normally unspoken outside of the bedroom be glorified and embraced for a whole room to see, all in the name of music and visual art. This man is putting on a real show for his fans, and the experience is rewarding.
Below is a collection of what unfolded, as well as information on where to hear the amazing sounds that graced the night:
Tickle Torture - https://www.facebook.com/tickletorturemusic/?fref=ts
Solid Gold - https://www.facebook.com/SolidGoldMPLS/?fref=ts
Psymun - https://www.facebook.com/Psymunmusic/?fref=ts
DJ TIIIIIIIIIIP - https://www.facebook.com/tiiiiiiiiiip/?fref=ts