I mentioned in a previous post that the Man or Astro-Man? show from Tiki Oasis 15 was probably the best main stage performance I’d seen at Tiki Oasis. One of the feelings I had afterwards was regret. Regret that while I knew Man or Astro-Man? as a band for many years (a solid Mystery Science Theater 3000 connection from the mid-90s), I had never pursued seeing them in concert. And I was aware that their heavy touring days, if they existed at all, were mostly in the past.
A couple of months back, a friend let me know that Man or Astro-Man? was slated do a show in Los Angeles in late August. Looking deeper into this news, I could see that this was part of a short California tour. A couple of dates in the north part of the state, and as luck would have it, a Friday night performance in San Luis Obispo. While it’s a bit of a stretch to get there after work on a Friday, it was do-able and could be parlayed into a weekend getaway that didn’t require a flight.
The show was at a relatively new event space at SLO Brew. Bonus points for accessible delicious beer. Minus points to myself for not realizing SLO Brew has multiple locations in SLO, so our first Lyft trip ended up at the wrong place.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of a crowd, as SLO is a college town. As it turned out, as a crowd, we were in the words of Birdstuff “small but mighty“. Honestly I don’t know how many people were there, since I ended straight for the rail down front and never took my eyes of the band, save for a few photo opportunities I took.
The performance assured me that my memories from Tiki Oasis 15 were correct and that Man or Astro-Man? is an incredible force live. They attacked their songs and really put on a show. Fortunately, the venue doesn’t seem to be the type to force the display of their logo behind the band, so they were able to play clips on the screen behind them. And Coco’s “compu-bass” did not fall victim to the elements, as it did in the humidity of San Diego in 2015.
We bought all the merchandise we could, including aspirational t-shirts that are too small because those were the sizes available. I hope they continue to tour, even if it is sporadic. This is a band I will (and do) travel for. And unless I was mistaken, I think they introduced one song as new(?), so here’s hoping. You can see most of that song in a video clip below.