The Cybertronic Spree (Featuring guests Weird Paul and Olathia)
It’s a return to the Beachland Ballroom for me, and it’s been a little while. But Cybertronic Spree was finally coming to Cleveland, and it was a show I didn’t want to miss. They’ve been in the area before, and before the lockdowns have been scheduled to play the House of blues. I have to say, the Beachland feels like a more proper venue for them. Newline newline that’s not to say that the beach Lanza great and comfy place… It’s a bit of a dive actually. It’s the sort of club that makes you wish you were someplace classier, like an American legion, The YMCA, or a high school gym with a murder van parked outside. Nevertheless, they’ve got a reputation for bringing in strange, and eclectic acts. Not just local metal and punk, but things like the devotional… Featuring bands doing tributes and stuff in the style of Devo. I’ve seen Max Sabbath and galactic empire and the Okily Dokilys There, as well as catching one of the found footage festival tours. It’s a weird joint, and that makes it perfect for Cybertronic Spree. Also, it’s got way better parking and less chance of getting shanked than the House of blues in downtown Cleveland. (In all fairness, I say there is less chance, not no chance…)
Of course the night starts off with a visit to the trashy vintage store in the clubs basement “This Way Out”. It’s fairly reminiscent of Suite Lorain in the west side antiques district on Lorain road. Antiques and vintage really come in two varieties, classy and kitschy. Like Suite Lorain, This Way Out skews seriously kitchy in glorious fashion. They also specialize in vinyl – appropriate for a concert club.
I wasn’t down there very long though, before I heard the thunderous sounds of the first band tuning up. Time to run up and blow out my eardrums!
The show opened with Olathia. I’ve never heard of this band, but my buddy Ed has. He even knew it was the bass player’s birthday! They’re not bad, local metal. Like a lot of metal bands with female singers, they leaned into a more melodic type of metal. I dig that. Less cookie monster and more tunes. They rock hard and loud and I wouldn’t mind seeing them again.
And then there was Weird Paul. Weird Paul singing about his hello Kitty necklace. Weird Paul singing about needing bus fare. Weird Paul singing about working at Spenser Gifts and not being able to have his phone on the sales floor. Weird Paul singing “I think this kid is having a seizure”. Throwing beach balls into the crowd, then holding up a Skippy jar lit by a strobe light, while Weird Paul sings about his favorite types of peanut butter. (Serious biz, I forgot Superman Peanut Butter was even a thing!) Dude was a trip. VERY strange. But also a clever choice. He was playing this tour solo, so after breaking down the stage from Olathia, they set up The Cybertronic Spree, and added a n extra mic and stand for Weird Paul’s laptop which he ran all of his backing tracks from. That made for minimal teardown time before the main attraction.
As soon as Weird Paul announced he only had a couple more songs left, I slowly started making my way up until I hit the front row! I literally had my hands on the stage!
Cybertronic Spree was everything I hoped they would be. Yes, they did the whole soundtrack to the 86 film, but they interspersed it with other classics like “Barracuda” and “Immigrant Song” as well as throwing in a variety of cartoon theme songs. Spider-man and X-Men were back to back and when it came time to play the Pokemon song, Soundwave tossed giant balloon pokeballs into the crowd.
In attendance that night was Alpha Magus, a cosplayer wearing his version of Macho Man Ultra Magnus. While he isn’t part of the band, and was just there for the show, he got invited on stage where he proceeded to throw slim jims into the crowd!
The band ended the night with thier rendition of “Don’t You Forget About Me.” It’s such a brilliant and quintessential 80’s song that it fit’s perfectly with the band.
All in all, a good night. I spent much of my time staring at the construction of hte costumes and looking for ideas. Lots of jumping up and down iw ht the crowd and singing aong to the songs. I left happy, with my ears ringing. It’s definately a show worth seeing when they come to your town.