I’ve been to a lot of shows in my life, and I’ve seen the Dead Milkmen a handful of times, from playing a free park show to playing a memorial tribute. Sunday’s show was by far one of the strangest shows I’ve ever been to in general.
It was announced that The Dead Milkmen would be playing a free show in Philadelphia’s Logan’s Circle sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia as part of a book signing and reading they were having of an author. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’ve seen them play some strange places before so I felt pretty confident it would be like any other Dead Milkmen show. Way wrong.
I got to Logan’s Circle and there was clearly no show happening there, so I headed to the library across the street. I asked the librarian about the show, and they informed me that the show was moved indoors to the 4th floor, and to just take the elevator up there. Ok…
I got to the 4th floor a few songs late, and peered in the conference room to see a crowd of people sitting in seats with a few people standing up against the wall while The Dead Milkmen played an acoustic set. There weren’t any microphones minus the podium that speakers used that Rodney would occasionally shout into while he sang pacing the front of the conference room.
The crowd was made up of an interesting mix of punks who looked just as confused as I was, and people there strictly for the library event, including multiple elderly couples who looked just as confused as us punk fans as the Dead Milkmen played their offbeat satirical tunes, while many babies and toddlers clapped along.
The Dead Milkmen opted to have create their setlist on the spot by pulling song titles out of an envelope, sometimes going into a brief explanation of the song itself (“Some history about this song. It’s possible to bronze bodies like you would with baby boots, but sometimes the body would collapse in the process. This song was written because I made the mistake of telling Joe about this.”)
Whether pacing around, singing in the bathroom so the people who took a bathroom break could hear, or busting out the melodica, The Dead Milkmen played a light hearted and fun set to the intimate and varied crowd.
At one point when I was standing up against the wall with a bunch of other fans in the middle of the set, an elderly librarian came up to us and asked us if we would like seats… so yeah, definitely not your every day Dead Milkmen show, but it’s definitely one to remember.
Beach Party Vietnam
Punk Rock Girl
Meaningless Upbeat Happy Song