In our brave new digital age, almost anybody can achieve fame through the Internet. Yet, not many performers can rise to international stardom the way Günther has over the past couple of years. With his mullet, mustache and overtly sexual music, I couldn’t help but wonder, was this guy for real? It was that ambiguity that got me hooked. If Günther was a parody of Europop, he was shooting right on target. If he was serious, at least he was outrageous to the point of being awesome. So it was quite the shocker to hear that the Pleasureman would be coming to perform at our very own Storke Plaza. Forget Ozma, Sugarcult, the Moving Units or any of the other performers that have played at the venue. Günther & the Sunshine Girls would be the biggest thing to appear in the plaza since Storke Tower.
The concert-goers were relatively sparse at the start of DJ Rafael’s opening set, but it quickly became filled to the brim with a crowd anxiously chanting for Günther. DJ Rafael was able to momentarily placate the audience by getting everyone to sing alongside a dance mix of Nirvana’s “Lithium.”
As more time passed, some wondered if Günther would be a great live performer – their reservations vanished at the sound of Günther’s sensually deep voice. The crowd went nuts. I ended up a mere 30 feet away from the stage. Each step closer to the Pleasureman came at the cost of air and space, as no one was willing to budge from where they stood. Some took advantage of this by crowd-surfing. There were several moments when it felt like a portion of the audience was ready to fall over. Luckily, people kept their balance and no one was trampled, though the same can’t be said for injured feet. Standing by one of the plaza’s trees wasn’t any better. While some grabbed hold of a better view in the branches, anyone near the trunks got repeatedly rammed from several directions against the rough bark.
Günther ran through his set list from the Pleasureman album. This included hits like “Ding Dong Song,” “Teeny Weeny String Bikini,” and “Golddiggers.” Each successive song and gyration from the Sunshine Girls got the crowd more excited to dance, sing along and make out. The audience orgy nearly ended when a couple rowdy audience members began throwing hard objects at the performers. Luckily, Günther & the Sunshine Girls understood the rabid love foaming from the audience. The show went on. Günther topped it off with an encore performance of “Ding Dong Song” and a single from his upcoming album.
Much of the crowd quickly dispersed after the concert. However, some persistent fans, which included a few of my fellow Nexites, were able to hang around and get some photos and autographs with Günther & the Sunshine Girls. Günther’s performance perfectly reflected the party atmosphere of Isla Vista; everyone went their separate ways that night to spread Günther’s message of love through champagne, glamour, sex and respect.