Anthony Mehlhaff photo column—Daikaiju

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Daikaiju: The fire monsters of surf rock. Daikaiju is Secret-man (Guitar), Blast-man (Drums), Ace-man (Guitar) and Battle-man (Bass). (Not helpful, I know. Ha!) Dripping sweat, Kabuki masks, lighter fluid, and instruments engulfed in flames, but no lyrics or words, Daikaiju leaves the stage deserted and gathers the crowd into the center of the room to quite literally partake in the creation of their art and music. Prepare yourself to not only interact with the band but also to perhaps play their instruments and—if you’re lucky or strong-looking enough—to hold members and their instruments above your heads for the entirety of a song or more.

Everyone says that rock and roll should be a bit dangerous, but usually the people who say that are also the folks waaaaaaaayyy in the back, who also hate to be bumped into as you run to the front of a wild and nasty circle pit. But with every Daikaiju show, there is the possibility of you and all your best friends burning alive in the shittiest part of what ever fuck-hole town you life in. But what a way to go, am I right?!

Almost all the house lights where shut off and just a tiny blast from the cheapest flash on the market gave just enough illumination to match the intensity of the flames that were climbing the cymbal and guitars. A fan trims his beard whiskers as he leans in for a quick French kiss with the dancing flame seductress. The crowd’s a blur beyond the kabuki-masked madmen and the flame kisser. What’s not to love?

After I snapped this photo, I vowed to never miss these guys and their monstrous, musical destruction. These guys are why I bring my camera to shows. These guys are surf rock angels, smiled upon by the god of the genre, Dick Dale as he chills in the waves of heaven, or whatever.

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Watch all or fast-forward to 17:30 ish