By Antonella Fratino - The Siamese Libertines - 06/03/05

Just when you think that Jimmy (a.k.a. Urine) and his posse from NYC have weathered themselves out, the band comes to town once again to rock, jeer, perturb and ostensibly screw with a host of salaciously irate adolescents, giving Montreal one more hit of the schizophrenic joyride that is specifically Mindless Self Indulgence.

Irritating and exciting the likes of spectators at Foufounes and Club Soda since 2002, MSI performed for their largest, most responsive crowd yet. While live shows have made the band what they are today, allowing fans to partake in the twisted, carnival-esque atmosphere created by the vocalist’s outlandish stage presence, the concert sphere is one that doesn’t do justice to their multi-textured music. More specifically, the audio at La Tulipe wasn’t the greatest and it had a detrimental effect on the songs. Still, what was lost in production value and sound quality was made up in energy, enthusiasm and spontaneity. Jimmy didn’t climb up the wall and circulate the balcony this time around, however, in typical Urine-fashion, he threw dildos into the crowd, stripped off his cross-dressing garb, sang via shadow puppets, stimulated the crowd for sex (and just about everything else), danced with a realistically-looking stuffed dog, juggled the mic with ease and bounced about the stage comically from start to finish. The hilarity of his performance was entertaining in and of itself.

Behind all his slapstick sexual antics though, it is clear that Jimmy is intelligent and talented both in and out of the studio. In addition to being a master of the mixer (he composes and produces all MSI songs), the singer proves he has an enduring edge as a performer. Skilled at delivering biting, tongue-in-cheek remarks off the cuff, he is perhaps the modern-day Oscar Wilde for a disenfranchised youth.

And then of course, there are his vocals. If you are wowed by Jimmy’s falsetto breaks on your stereo, then you will be amazed to find that he pulls it off live without fail. The fact that he managed to sing the chorus to “What Do They Know?” in sync with taking quick hauls from his cigarette without missing a beat (or a jolt of nicotine) was impressive.

As usual, MSI’s set list was assorted and across the map. One of the best parts of their concerts is the element of surprise –- because the group has countless short songs, you never know what they are going to perform. They played most of their new album (except “You’ll Rebel to Anything”, to my disappointment) interspersed with old favourites and B-sides. Highlights of the night were: “Shut Me Up,” “I Hate Jimmy Page,” “Stupid MF,” “Bitches,” “Faggot,” “Tom Sawyer” and a fantastic acappella version of “Bring The Pain.”

Once again, Mindless Self Indulgence delivered ADD delight to everyone’s satisfaction, reminding us that witty juvenility never gets old. Aiight?

[Antonella hosts The Siamese Libertines every Thursday from 6pm-8pm. If she’s lucky, her other half, Raeanne, will come back to her soon…]