I’ve mentioned this before, but my dad is a huge fan of jazz music. Have a question about anything jazz? Go to my dad. He’ll for sure have an answer (and will judge you based on your question).  The kind of jazz music that my dad is into is not your typical jazz music. It’s stuff like Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor. It’s out there… like way out there. It’s the kind of stuff that would give a normal person a headache trying to listen to. There are no time signatures and there are times where you wonder if the musicians even know how to actually play their assigned instruments. It’s pure chaos.

I hate jazz music. Okay, maybe hate is a strong word, but I really don’t like it. Maybe it’s because of my dad blaring it throughout the house during every meal and on weekends. Whatever it is, growing up, I hated that music. Now that I’m older and living on my own up in the Twin Cities and rarely find time to make it back to Des Moines, Iowa, I find comfort in the things that remind me of home. Last night’s show reminded me of the chaos that used to ring through the house only it had a bit more “me” in it.

If my dad had been a metal head, not only would I be more normal, but he would have been all about The Contortionist.

The Contortionist is a band unlike many others. They are metal but they aren’t metal. The type of metal these guys play is a kick to the face if you aren’t ready for it. I was ready for it but my jaw still hit the ground when they started playing.

The crowd barely moved last night except for a small pit that was desperately trying to break out during a couple of The Contortionist’s songs. If you follow my blog, you know this is what I think it killing the music scene and a huge pet peeve of mine. Why go to a concert and just stand there? You may as well listen to the band’s CD at home really loud. It’s essentially the same thing if you’re not going to move.

Last night was the exception to that rule. You couldn’t help but stand there and get your face melted by all of the bands especially The Contortionist.

The Contortionist is nothing short of a tech-metal band. Their riffs are complicated. The time signatures are complicated. The vocals are complicated. Hell, everything about them is complicated and I mean that in the best way.

It is chaos in music form. It is simple but at the same time complicated. It is loud, but it is so quiet. It makes you feel angry, happy, sad… everything all at once.

You really can’t dance to their music. It’s hard to even tap your toes or nod your head to it. Finding a solid beat is near impossible especially when seeing it live. Right when you think you’ve found it, you lose it when they either change the time signature or you start watching them play.

I was mesmerized by watching the guitarists. The way their hands can move with such speed and precision is jaw dropping. Watching singer Michael Lessard bounce around the stage is astounding. His voice transforms into so many different genres in a matter of a couple of words but it all seems to flow together.

Last night wasn’t exciting. There are no epic mosh pits to write about. There was no confetti cannon or fake blood coming at my face. There was just me, a packed house with a few friends spattered in and some music that, in some odd way, reminded me of home.

It was perfect.

Line Up:



The Contortionist


Venue- Cabooze

Sausage Fest Meter-  354684684 out of 10

Average Age- 20

Found in the Pit- Jaws on the Floor

Crowd Surfers- None

Stage Divers- None

“Celebrity” Sightings in the Crowd- Dustin and Carlos from By The Thousands; Lee from Mithya

Overall Score- 6 out of 10 (just due to the subdued nature of the show)