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Where: The Soapbox – Wilmington, NC
When: July 26
Huddled in the downstairs area of The Soapbox, geeks from Wilmington and afar came together to give The Protomen a long awaited welcome. What built the anticipation more was that local “Nintendo chip rock” band D&D Sluggers was set as what seemed like the most appropriate opener. Despite the stage being somewhat cramped form both bands’ equipment, the Sluggers put on an energetic show of glitch dance rock and jazzy geek songs that got the crowd riled up and ready for the impending rock opera.
When all ten members of the Protomen finally arrived, clad in silver war paint, they asked the Wilmington crowd to pledge their undivided dedication before beginning the concert with “How The World Fell Under Darkness.” The audience willfully consented and fell under the Protomen’s spell of destruction, rampant machine armies and the epic battle between Capcom video game villain and hero, Doctor Wily and Mega Man. There was little room for the Protomen to dance, but that did not stop them from jumping in the audience, playing dueling guitars, sporting a Mega Man gun, and molesting and singing along with ecstatic audience members.
The majority of the set list came from their sophomore album, Act II: The Father of Death, yet The Protomen also shifted back to their self-titled debut. Everyone cheered, danced, and moshed when songs like “Father of Death” and “Light Up The Night” were performed. The Protomen dubbed the audience “warriors of Wilmington” and brought everyone together with a delightful cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Geek or not, it was a night many Wilmingtonians had been waiting for.
Photos by Carter Smith.