What are you supposed to do at a show when the entire band is covered in body paint, wielding glitter guns and throwing confetti and baby powder into the crowd? Wear something you don’t really care about, drink a Red Bull, and put on your dancing shoes.
Jean-Eric, a self described hipster dance band from New Orleans, is all about pleasing the crowd and having fun.
“Our shows are really important to us, and we don’t want anyone to be bored,” frontman Frank Jones said. “We just want everyone to feel at ease and be happy!”
Jean-Eric got started in 2007, when Jones was inspired by New Orleans band Bunny Rabbit.
“I was utterly inspired by Bunny Rabbit and all their queer-DIY glory, and I couldn’t help but think that I could do something like that too,” Jones said.
Jones started mixing songs in GarageBand, added a few members, and started playing local shows in New Orleans.
“Our first out-of-town show was in Dallas, Texas, and we got paid $10,” Jones said.
Since then, the band has written a plethora of new songs, added a visual performance artist, and signed up for a variety of summer tour dates including a few along the Gulf Coast, as well as New York City and Brooklyn.
The band has made a name for itself by putting on some very outlandish performances.
“We like to employ whatever we can–we love glitz, glam, smoke, fog, grinding on people, taking our clothes off, having the crowd take theirs off,” Jones said. “Essentially, if everything we own could be covered in a layer of glitter, we would do it.”
Many of Jean-Eric’s shows are billed as “clothing optional,” but then again, it all depends on the crowd.
“As performers, we have the artistic license to kind of run with it,” Jones said. “I think if the audience starts to derobe, it makes the show more memorable.”
Jean-Eric has sometimes been thought of as a novelty band, just performing for the moment in a certain niche, without any real concern for the music being generated. Although that doesn’t make the show any less fun or intriguing, the band wants to represent more.
“We represent the ‘Why not?’ of going out there and trying whatever and having a good time, either failing or succeeding,” Jones said. “Now don’t get me wrong, I love dance music, but when that notion of brain, heart and emotion is added to the notion of moving the feet, I think something powerful can be created.”
Regardless of whether the crowd gets naked, covered in glitter or joins in on the synchronized dance moves that are likely to be happening on stage, Pensacola should be in for a refreshingly unique performance.
“We truly love bringing the fun, so if P-Town is into that, it should be quite harmonious,” Jones said.
WHEN: Thursday, June 16
WHERE: Sluggo’s, 101 S. Jefferson St.
DETAILS: 791-6501 or loungecrunk.com