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    Photos by Glenn Hirsch

    The astronaut puts on his wig, prepares for lift off. He joins electro-pop-psychedelia STRFKR (“Starfucker”) and other dancing astronauts on stage. The synth is as prominent as a countdown at Cape Canaveral. All the lasers — blue then green and sweeping long lines across the thumping audience — like the light that ignites the spaceship. And that’s when the astronaut soars. Floats the sold-out crowd at Headliners like a young, hip, glittery universe of hands. He defies gravity, goes higher, rides a solar flare of more hands to the second tier of the venue, lifted and — whew! — alive.

    The cosmic get-down feels like a dream from my vantage point near the rear. Cosmic, reflecting the band’s most recent album, Being No One, Going Nowhere (cover art very interstellar: easels bearing canvases of stars), which samples British philosopher Alan Watts (“You are a function of this total galaxy…”) and lyrically questions mortality. In the title song, a low-fi atmospheric drone expands behind the words, accompanied by what sounds like alien bird calls. At home, the song has me on tears’ verge, reinforcing my pretty, piddly, dust-size existence.

    Now, though, I’m catching the beat of a different song with the back of a bunch of heads. (Too old to bury my body with others bodies closer to the stage.) My friend Brandon (shoutout: yellow beanie) and I groove, room to move. None of the lyrics are very distinguishable, but that reeling rhythm is ever-present. I two-step to “Open Your Eyes,” a popular one, which provokes a bunch of cell phones out of pockets. I don’t know a bunch of this band’s stuff, but I feel like some of these songs should be NASA video game background tracks. The harp-like whirls, the keyboard build-ups like a race, that space gun sound.

    In the game, I’d walk a barren landscape. I’d pay attention; I wouldn’t. I’d be hollowed out. I’d be nobody. Wearing silver. Planet froth collecting on my boots. Far off, I’d hear a familiar tune like an old tape machine: “I know your darkness better than you think.” I’d be surrounded in golden light. Falling like a star, I’d go home. I’d go nowhere.


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