This picture is a great representation of what the Mi(ke) Slingers bring to the table as a musical act. Fun, connected…about it. They’re made up of two Mike’s and the gun packing keyboard player, Helen. Mike on the far right is married to Helen and their connection really brings another level to their live performance. Anybody that connects to music can see the connection they share about the music, and it’s really a beautiful thing to watch. If I had to describe them in two words it would be mellow intensity. The aura they give off is relaxed confidence, but they play the music with intensity and joy. I think that’s what it really comes down to. The joy they feel playing gets caught up and mixed into the music as its output to you.
They’re a cover band that covers old school rock and juke box favorites, which is really ideal for the venue that they were playing in. All of the songs they played were amazing, but I want to focus on two which just kind of blew me away. First, Bob Dylan’s Isis. Isis was off his album Desire and tells an epic love story as if it were rooted in magic. The song speaks on precious metals, alchemy, and jewels. It’s named after an Egyptian goddess. Consider it “The Notebook” of Bob Dylan songs, but much cooler, obviously, because…it’s Bob Dylan. Maybe, this song was so phenomenal because of the reasons I mentioned earlier but they played this song like they overhead squat. (Mike and Helen are both top notch crossfitters.) It was fluid, but not mechanical. It was engrossing, but not overbearing. Ahhhh, it was good. Just GOOD.
The second song was a Rolling Stones Song, and it was epic to me, in the performance, because of the juxtaposition to Isis. “She’s So Cold,” is definitely NOT a love song. It is the antithesis of a love song. “Yeah I tried rewiring her, Tried refiring her…I think her engine is permanently stalled.” See. Not a love song. But it was fun, and they had fun playing it. Which was what the Stones were all about. They took this sound that had nothing to do with Rock and Roll, the Blues, and they folded it into their music making this younger, fresher way of expression. The Mike Slingers really embodied that expressionistic aspect of the Stones.
There were no cd’s handed out at the end of the performance and a lot of the viewers were friends and gym mates. Which really made the entire situation that much more appealing. So I say, if you’re ever in a bar and see a flyer for the Mike Slingers, you check them out. Because beer is better when you’re smiling and I promise you, they will make you smile.