Ariel Pink Brings New Music to Terminal 5

February 26th, 2015

Ariel Pink – Terminal 5 – February 25, 2015

(Photo: Dan Rickershauser)

(Photo: Dan Rickershauser)

As lore has it, at some point deep into the doldrums of the 1970s, glam rock and punk rock had a lust-driven one-night stand, and out of the encounter came their bizarro love child Ariel Pink. Maybe this isn’t entirely accurate, but what is true is that in the world’s quest for ever-weirder music, they stumbled upon the bedroom-pop aficionado, who since the mid-’90s has been making some seriously strange pop music, a variety that’s rockin’ but off-kilter, sexy sounding but in an unsettling way, and most important, irresistibly catchy. Pink’s latest release, Pom Pom, has been his most acclaimed release to date, and it brought him and his band to Terminal 5 last night.

Sporting a silver mane of messy hair, Pink began things by letting everyone know that he was very sick, apparently having caught the same cold it seems that most in New York City are currently battling. The multicolored-light-pinwheel contraption behind the band made up for any energy lacking in the under-the-weather Pink. It also didn’t stop him from wolfing down a burger that seemed to appear out of nowhere during the second song, “Jell-o,” leading a person behind me to ask, “Did he just order Seamless in the middle of his set?” Pink is backed by an eclectic group of musicians. His bass player looks like a ’70s version of that spooky long-haired guy in the Black Eyed Peas that doesn’t seem to do anything except dance frantically. His drummer sported a cowboy hat and what appeared to be a child-sized teal bikini. (He participated with Pink in the creepy-uncle back and forth about a topless dancer and her aureoles on “Black Ballerina.”)

Pink’s many requests to make certain instruments louder in his monitors and “really, really loud” for the house meant that everything was running at extremely high volume by the set’s midpoint, further making the whole performance seem like a trippy fever dream. Pink’s finale, “Picture Me Gone,” was dedicated to friend, collaborator and fringe-music legend Kim Fowley, who passed away inJanuary. And although the crowd was desperate for an encore, Pink was feeling too sick to make it through one. The drummer came out to apologize and let everyone know that Pink loved us all. Get well soon, Mr. Pink!
—Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks