Hailing from the “Earth’s capitol” Oakland, the Phenomenauts are one part purveyors of a rock/pop/surf/new wave/rockabilly synthesis they refer to as “Rocket Roll,” one part golden-age-of-science-fiction performance artists who have created an elaborate stage show combining costumes, props, home-made instruments and gadgetry of the retro-futuristic type and one part cherished leaders of a friendly, yet die-hard cult of fans, “cadets” and admirers, all rallied around the motto: Science and Honor. The band’s inter-galactic awareness, their reputation for over-the-top performances and their steady stream of recordings and appearances have stationed these “pilots of unusual experience” among the brightest stars in the Bay Area music scene.
Formed in 2000, the Phenomenauts were local legends in the making from the start. Within a couple of years of their formation, they were voted California’s Best Live Band by the East Bay Express and Best Lifestyle Music Artist by the SF Weekly. As their reputation grew, so did their legion of fans, many of whom started coming to shows in uniforms and outfits of their own making including Phenomenaut uniforms, robot costumes and other space-worthy ensembles.
Famous for setting up and playing shows (unsolicited, that is) in front of big-time venues (Fillmore, anyone?), one of the band’s more significant space/time ripples came when they smuggled themselves onto the 2003 Warped Tour. Their high-energy performances made such an impression on audiences and the tour’s director that they were invited (officially, this time) to join the tour.
With their crowd-favorite, one-of-a-kind stage gadgets, including the Theramatic Helmerator (a helmet with a wireless Theramin inside it), the Streamerator 2000 (a toilet paper roll-launching device), plenty of smoke and an unwavering commitment to their cause, the Phenomenauts are the undisputed favorites of their own little galaxy; and what a galaxy it is.
The Phenomenauts play the Blank Club on Feb 26.