World Leader Pretend
January 21, 2007
BY JASON SONGE
PHOTOS BY GRISSEL GIULIANO
After unloading their gear onto the street, Arthur Mintz and Keith Ferguson shared a moment of trepidation as they looked at one another. Since Mintz is naturally the more adventurous and gregarious of the two, Ferguson said, "You first."
World Leader Pretend was about to play an unnanounced gig at the R Bar on Sunday during the Saints/Bears game. The only problem was that the R Bar didn't even know they were coming. So, with help from Alex Smith and Blair Gimma, who recently joined the band, the guys set up their instruments in the pool table corner. Since it is New Orleans, it should be no surprise that when told of the band's impending performance, the owner of the bar gave the OK while shrugging his shoulders.
World Leader Pretend was there to be in- between-play cheerleaders as the game was projected on the big screen behind the bar. The band had a bunch of songs ready: "Song 2" by Blur, "When The Saints Go Marching In," "The Saints are Coming," "Liza Jane," and a Saints-augmented version of "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson. It's something that the Black and Gold Bike Patrol has been doing all season: replacing the lyrics of popular songs with Saints-positive lyrics like "Black and Gold Super Bowl." So, just sing the chorus of "DSTUGE," but just sing "Black and Gold Super Bowl" in the same cadence as the original lyrics. It's a fun and silly little exercise, anyway.
The game began, and every now and then the band would play a snippet of a song between plays, but they themselves were normally too busy watching and being invested in the game to pick up instruments. The band's performance was wonderfully loose. Band members started songs on a whim, and most of the time, no one knew when to switch to the chorus or when to end the song, but then again, no one cared. It was about being together celebrating music and the Saints, not getting things right.
Several guests floated in and out of the band during the game. Theresa Andersson played note perfect melodies on her violin, Bryan Spitzfaden added vocals, and Dane Bono got on the cowbell. Also, The Bally Who's Rene Dufourc brought his trombone and often played it when the Saints made a big play.