The Residents: 40th Anniversary Tour

pre-show stage

pre-show stage

A band started like any other – a group of people putting their skills, or lack thereof, together to form sound and eventually end up performing on a stage in front of a growing audience and then releasing music and merchandise to the world. This band would make their début concert officially as The Residents in 1971 in San Francisco. The band members remain anonymous to keep the focus on their art output instead of their good looks.



Santa takes the stage

Santa takes the stage

My dad first saw them in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1990 at their Cube E: The History of American Music show. They left quite the impression – enough for him to have five of their records on iTunes and to attend another concert – Wonder of Weird: 40th Anniversary Tour – 23 years later in another country. I would be lucky enough to be in town when The Residents played at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix.

it's exactly what you think

it’s exactly what you think

It’s one thing to see a new concert…and to be one of the younger people there, but it’s neat to know that your dad was about your age the first time he saw them too. I’m glad we got there when we did. The staff was friendly and Caroline and I got matching t-shirts and wore them during the show. We were close enough to touch the stage and the guy next to me close enough to catch the spit of awesome as it was launched from Santa’s lips.

Santa worships the eye tree

Santa worships the eye tree

I enjoyed the oddity, the simplicity, and the nostalgia that I knew my dad and Caroline were feeling. He told me afterwards that they were laughing at me, in a nice way, when I had my camera poised for pictures in my right hand while using my GoPro to capture video in my left hand. I wanted to take it all in, but there is the struggle between letting the camera watch the show and enjoying it live for myself. And an odd note: I caught myself staring at Santa’s 70-year-old hands and watching the sweat drip from his nose.

do the creep...

do the creep…

There was a kid in the audience that was mimicking Santa’s every hand motion and raising his hands in the air as if accepting Jesus in church. I am so glad that I was beside him with someone in between and not behind him having him constantly block what little I would already be able to see. His hands interrupt the video that was shot from the back of the venue. I hope that kid enjoyed the show though and found what he was looking for.

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2 Responses to The Residents: 40th Anniversary Tour

  1. John Wise says:

    It was the Dr. Demento show that first introduced me to The Residents back when I was in high school, the guy played a lot of whacky music on the radio that would have never been heard without his efforts – fond memories.

    Now, the reason we laughed, it was also 23 years ago that I would have been in your shoes, but there you were in mine. With camera in hand I tracked across Germany and on occasion Belgium, Holland, and Austria too, just to catch my favorite bands on video. Got lucky sometimes and caught acts before they were famous, like Nirvana, Bjork while she was in the Sugarcubes, the Pixies, and a few others. It looked funny seeing first hand how the apple fell close to the tree.

    Love the third photo down with its high contrast, and you nailed the last image – perfect!

    This proves that some geezers are way cooler than many youngsters who think they have what’s what all figured out. Oldies rule. Um, not that I’m insinuating that I’m old or something.


  2. caracolina23 says:

    The photos turned out great! Thanks for capturing the memories… ^_^


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