Weeknight shows are always interesting. Thoughts of work (or school) the next day can easily pull you away from the experience. However, if you’re open to it, a great show can override your “curfew” setting and allow you to be in the moment. The crowd at Barracuda Wednesday night appeared to be up for the occasion. In the time leading up to the headliner, there was no sense of restlessness. People were laughing and mingling until the sound of police sirens blasted through the speakers. An immediate eruption from the crowd followed. Seconds later, Masked Intruder walked on stage, along with ever-so trusty Officer Bradford to look over them. The ski-mask wearing band from Wisconsin jumped right into “I’m Free,” and in those first few moments, you could tell it was about to be a fun night.
Frontman, Intruder Blue, was a catalyst for the fun as he engaged the crowd the entire night with witty remarks and sincere appreciation. “Have you ever been in love with someone?” Blue asked to a cheerful response. “Wait. You didn’t let me finish, ” he continued, “Have you ever been in love with someone.. and that person didn’t love you back?” After a brief pause to let the crowd react, he pushed further, “I didn’t finish. Have you ever been in love with someone and that person didn’t love you back.. and they put a restraining order on you.” Laughter from the crowd ensued. “And then they take you to court.. But then you’re happy because you get to see them in court?” More laughs and cheers as the band began playing, “Please Come Back To Me,” the first single off their latest album, III.
Flanking Blue’s personality was Intruder Green’s energy and Intruder Purple’s all-around badassary. Along with Intruder Red’s aggression on drums, the band’s modern pop punk style was brought to life. There’s something unique about a show where the artists are masked. It forces you to focus on other aspects of the live performance, namely the music. What seems gimmicky on the surface, is actually an interesting element within the live music space. Mannerism and other details have to be processed in order to get a sense of who is under the mask. The ability to play a full set under stage lighting with a hot ski mask on is pretty impressive, if nothing else.
A huge part of the night, was crowd participation. From Officer Bradford dancing in the crowd, to a live AMA-style session with Purple, there was always an interaction between the band and crowd. One nugget from the quick Q&A session: Purple’s favorite color is well.. you know. Later in the show, a fan got to dance on stage. For the next song, another fan was brought up to sing with the band. To her credit, she handled the it quite well. Overall, Masked Intruder did a great job of making the crowd feel a part of the experience at every moment.
Masked Intruder gives a high energy, high entertaining experience that fits perfectly with Austin’s weirdness. Towards the end of the show, Blue announced how many songs they had left and expressed how he doesn’t believe in “encores.” A band knows how many songs they’re playing, so why make fans scream for you to come back out to play songs you already plan on doing? Interesting point, for sure. The crowd seemed to agree, as the transparency was met with cheers. Blue would go on to express his love for Austin before riffing into “I’ll Be Back” to end the night.