Günther’s raging sex drive overflowed like champagne in Storke Plaza on Friday, as the Swedish singer and his Sunshine Girls touched UCSB’s tra-la-la during his first-ever West Coast appearance.
Mats Söderlund, the Swedish club owner and former model now known as Günther, has become a cult hit in the United States due to his sexual, exaggerated and often hilarious songs and music videos. The performer, who bills himself as an international “Pleasureman,” drew an audience of about 3,500, complete with miniskirt-clad girls and impersonators wearing wraparound sunglasses with penciled-in mustaches.
The concert opened with a fusion of techno beats from local performer DJ Rafael and the audience received word that Günther had arrived – fashionably 28 minutes late.
Two voluptuous Sunshine Girls then strutted onstage and promised an unforgettable show before introducing Günther.
“We can’t do it without the man who brings love to the people, champagne to parties and, of course, respect to the women,” the Sunshine Girls said.
With that, Günther was welcomed to the stage with a thunderous roar of adoring fans amid the beginning notes of “Like Fire Tonight” from his 2006 album, Pleasureman. Disco lights reflected a myriad of colors across Günther’s sunglasses and onto the audience as he crooned into the microphone. Many excited fans yelled, “Take it off! Take it off!” as Günther popped his leather collar.
Associated Students Program Board Commissioner Brendan Finch said Günther is widely popular at UCSB.
“There’s a huge fan base here,” Finch said. “It’s not common that we see this much support for an individual artist.”
During the show, a team of events staff manned the front of the stage, extracting crowd surfers who got too close or too rough.
A.S. Program Board Concert Coordinator Richard Sloven said although some arrests were made, the staff monitored the concert well.
“One crowd surfer was kicked out, then he kept dodging security, jumping the barricades, sprinting across the stage and jumping into the crowd,” said Sloven, a fourth-year political science major. “After the third time the police did take him away. People were going pretty nuts at that show, but we anticipated it.”
Many audience members began throwing their undergarments on the stage. However, when water bottles, bananas and other hard objects began to fly, the performers left the stage momentarily.
When Günther returned, he eventually brought his show to a climax with an encore of his popular “Ding Dong Song.”
Laurel Doersam, a fourth-year political science major and Günther’s number one MySpace friend, said she is responsible for putting A.S. Program Board in contact with Günther.
“I thought [it] would be amazing to get him to play here at UCSB, so I contacted [Günther’s] booking agent and marketed our school, explaining it’s a great place for this Euro sensation to come,” Doersam said.
Though Doersam said she was extracted from the front row and forced to spend much of the concert watching from the sidelines, she did receive VIP tickets from Günther to attend his Saturday night performance in Los Angeles.
“I guess some stories do have happy endings,” Doersam said.