By Roy Kasten
By Kris Wernowsky
By Chaz Kangas
By Joseph Hess
By Julie Seabaugh
By Mike Appelstein
By Rachel Brodsky
By Kelsey McClure
Adam "Superargo" Jeffers was having a tough night. Playing his first concert as a solo electronic artist, he had hauled his desktop computer to the venue, only to find that the sound wouldn't translate from the hard drive. As nerve-racking as that experience was, watching a videotape of the painfully dull stage show was even more excruciating.
By his next gig, in July 2002, Jeffers was prepared. He'd shot film footage of a friend donning a skull mask and rolling through a fast-food drive-through. Skullface soon became a standard character in Superargo's background videos; a year later, he started making live appearances.
Though he strays from standard structure, Jeffers makes his compositions catchy. The underlying hooks remain prominent, no matter how many sonic squiggles enter the mix. Skullface holds up cue cards that turn the lyricless loops into story-songs. Being an instrumental artist has its advantages; Saturday's show takes place 30 days after Jeffers' reconstructive facial surgery, a turnaround time that would be impossible for a vocalist.
Superargo defies performance-art stereotypes. Skullface isn't an existentially challenging statement on the nature of mortality; he's just an amusing cohort. And the duo isn't above covering the Olsen Twins' "Gimme Pizza," a baffling number in which the then-tweens pile their pie with guacamole and ice cream. While the tune plays, Jeffers and Skullface execute boy-band-campy steps. The routine represents the culmination of Superargo's evolution from dude-with-laptop tedium to a best-live-set-in-town zenith.
Doors open at 9 p.m. Call 314-726-6161 for ticket price and more information.