Tippy Elvis

Artifice, Sept. 8

You need to know some things about Tippy Elvis before I can tell you how their set at Artifice came off. Firstly, the local comedy/punk/funk band has an unorthodox lineup: Singer Dayvid Figler is a poet and lawyer; keyboardist Sean Jones is a cartoonist; guitarist Brian Weiss is a tournament poker player; and Ginger Bruner plays a tuba, a punk rock tuba. (The band has had nearly a dozen drummers since forming in 1994, and they even changed drummers once during their Artifice set.) Secondly, this is no joke band; the players are sharply talented, and Figler sing-screams his heart out. Lastly, they’re unbelievably fun to watch. Whether poking fun at the Killers (“I got toast/but I’m not a toaster”), or trying to get a beach party started right (“Riding the waves in their black berets/SURF POETS!”), Tippy Elvis never fails to get a crowd jumping. Even if Figler hadn’t performed with a stuffed horse mounted on his groin, that Artifice crowd would have laughed hard. And even if Jones, Bruner and Weiss had played at half power, the crowd would have shimmied. But they played hard, the stuffed horse got a workout, and the crowd responded as only one can respond to Tippy Elvis: by dancing through the hysteria.