Mumiy Troll
"November 19, 2009"

Mumiy Troll - November 19, 2009

Theater of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA

The weekend started early for a rowdy group otherwise known as Mumiy Troll fans. When I agreed to go to see the Russian rockers play in Philadelphia at the Theater of Living Arts, I didn't have any idea what I was getting myself into. There was an entire cultural phenomenon that was lost on me. The cultural phenomenon, over course, is Mumiy Troll.

With no opener, fans were left to just stand and wait for the band. But these fans weren't planning to wait patiently and they weren't making a secret of what they wanted. Several times chants of "Mumiy Troll! Mumiy Troll!" arose from the audience along with furious foot stamping. And when the band did finally make their way out on to the stage, there wasn't one disappointed fan in the house.

Philadelphia may have been one of the last stops on the band's North American tour itinerary, but if they were tired you certainly couldn't tell. Mumiy Troll looked and sounded fantastic. Frontman Ilya Lagutenko was certainly feeling no pain as he acted goofy, hamming it up for the audience: jumping around stage, rolling his eyes and throwing silly looks, wearing the tambourine as a wreath on his head. Lagutenko made a loosely veiled comment about bringing the audience some "sea weed." The audience loved every second of his act. Girls were hoisted on to the shoulders of their dates, couples were dancing, and everyone seemed to know all the songs from just the first few bars. It was only when a newer track, like "Paradise Ahead," was played that the audience fervor noticeably died down.

So what I'm trying to say is, if you saw a couple looking slightly confused, I apologize. In a crowd where everyone seemed to speak Russian and rarely did Lagutenko speak any English himself, it was quite an experience. I had no idea that we were walking into not just a concert but a party that was lively, intimate and fun.