When it was announced in early April that Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem would be performing their very first live concert, Muppet fans were ecstatic. Then they began to ask, “How will they do it?”
In the words of Floyd Pepper, “There ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it.”
And do it, they did. After several months of anticipation, the Electric Mayhem performed a gig at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco yesterday. While no one was sure what to expect, it was an unadulterated success. The Mayhem treated the enthusiastic crowd to a legitimate rock-and-roll show. It has been reported that the performance drew one of the largest early afternoon crowds at the event. The band performed a twenty-five minute set featuring five songs. It was a joyful, boisterous, and occasionally nostalgic feat of puppetry.
For those of us that were unable to snag tickets, the concert was streamed online. The band took the stage to a pre-recorded video of Janice singing San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie. The band can be seen taking in San Francisco sights including Dr. Teeth in front of Alcatraz, Floyd at the Golden Gate Bridge, and Animal riding a cable car.
Floyd, Janice, Lips, and Zoot appeared as full-bodied puppets at the front of the stage, while Dr. Teeth and Animal sat behind the keyboard and drum set at the rear of the stage. The first number was a rousing rendition of the classic Can You Picture That? from The Muppet Movie. This song was a must for the set, and it was a great choice for the opening number.
Following the song, the band began to engage in some onstage banter. Floyd announced this was the first stop on the world tour while Dr. Teeth corrected him that is was the ONLY stop. Animal demanded to stop the chitchat and “Play music!”
The band then performed San Francisco by The Mowgli’s. This song, as well as many of the others, featured new video and animations playing in the background as the band performed.
The Mayhem took a short break while a video was played of the band travelling around San Francisco in the van. They have trouble navigating with the GPS, not even agreeing which voice to use. It ends with an unfortunate incident at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Next the band performed Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Floyd and Janice sang lead vocals. It was during this tune that Floyd started reminiscing about the church they used to practice in where they first met “the little green dude and the bear.”
Introducing the next number, Dr. Teeth announced it was about a special lady friend of his. Janice guessed Caren, Floyd theorized Kelly, Zoot surmised Debbie, Lips thought Melissa, and Animal supposed Mary. When none of these were correct, the band was sure it must be Cristina. (This was a nice inside joke for the diehard Muppet fan.) The actual song was Ophelia by The Band.
The Electric Mayhem then took another break while a hilarious video was played about how they first met. The Haight, Golden Gate Park, Chinatown? Of course, it may not have been San Francisco at all. The memories are kind of fuzzy…which led them to determine is must have been the Haight. It doesn’t really matter, though, because the Electric Mayhem has found San Francisco to always feel like home. A home filled with rice, sea lions, and the love for our friends.
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem then returned to the stage with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir for a Joe Cocker-infused version of the Beatles’ With a Little Help From My Friends. It was the perfect finale that featured a fun animated video of the Electric Mayhem as a stained glass window.
Now, if only they would actually go on a world tour…
If you haven’t seen the performance, you can check it out on YouTube at one of the links below: