Watch: Bradford Cox Shocks Audience in Minneapolis, Covers "My Sharona" for an Hour

Wears ski mask, tells audience to remove clothes and pick up chairs, dedicates show to "the death of folk and the birth of punk"

Watch: Bradford Cox Shocks Audience in Minneapolis, Covers

Deerhunter and Atlas Sound mastermind Bradford Cox has never been one to restrain his feelings. "I need punk rock," he told Pitchfork last year. "I am not an indie rock musician. I don't even know what the fuck that means."

That attitude was on full display Friday night, during an Atlas Sound show at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. In a report for City Pages, writer Sally Hedberg noted that "things felt a little awkward" from the beginning, when Cox took the stage with his face "concealed by a menacing, black ski mask."

After performing selections from 2011's Parallax and a cover of Beat Happening's "Youth", Cox then, apparently, went totally and blissfully insane, while heeding an audience member's request for the Knack's 1979 power pop single "My Sharona". He presented a cryptic and noisy rendition that, according to Minnesota Daily, lasted for a full hour. "I am a performance artist," Cox said. "I must play what you want to hear."

"It morphed into something bizarre," City Pages wrote, noting that he was joined by the night's openers, Frankie Broyles and Carnivores, for "an unending cover that rivaled the length of a Phish concert." He ordered the man who asked for the song to take the stage and strip down to his underwear, and repeatedly stated that "this is what happens when you make requests."

MN Daily wrote:

Above all the noise and feedback, he contemplated the death of folk music, the passing of time, and the ends of our lives in a frantic, spoken-word beat-poetry style that he himself compared to Patti Smith.

Meanwhile, the report from City Pages continues:

[The openers] were visibly uncomfortable and beginning to question the sanity of their esteemed proctor, unwillingly locked in some twisted, Doomsday clock performance of a 70s hit. Yet, 'My Sharona' endured still, as did Cox's increasingly awkward interactions with the audience. He asked people to take their clothes off. He shouted seemingly intoxicated defenses about his art. He simulated fellatio. He, to the horror of the Cedar employees, told everyone to pick up their chairs and shake them above their heads... it was unsettling and some people began filtering out of the venue. Eventually, after inviting the audience onstage (which visibly gave the Cedar staff an anxiety attack) he seemed to get the picture that the show was over and bid his adieu, dedicating the show to "the death of folk music and the birth of punk."

The moral of the story is: Hecklers, be careful what you wish for.


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