Ann Arbor darlings Midwest Product and Dykehouse performed as
“Paisley Product” on Saturday, playing Prince covers to
an enthusiastic crowd at the Blind Pig.
Midwest Product’s combination of electronics with live
instruments brings an organic feel to their unique brand of
glitch-pop. Dykehouse, a fellow artist on Ghostly International,
fuses shoegazing, pop and IDM together in his music. As expected
from musicians who cover Prince songs, both acts share a sense of
humor as well.
The first-time Midwest Product and Dykehouse united as Paisley
Product last year was a smashing success, inspiring the crowd to
dance madly into the night. Drew Schmedling (bass, keyboards)
explained that playing Prince covers was Ben Mullins’s
(electronics, guitar) idea, and that of all the band members’
various musical tastes, Prince was the one thing they all had in
The first opening act, Aneurysm, a DJ with a long scraggly beard
on only the left side of his face, spun videogame-like music. The
Impaler, an electro-pop band with a gothic twist, followed,
incorporating a vampire cape, fishnets and a whip.
Midwest Product kept their set short with only three of their
own songs. Although this was well-received, Paisley Product’s
performance was what the audience really craved. Dykehouse joined
the band on stage, opening with “Take Me With U,” and
the floor steadily became more crowded, sweaty and frenetic.
Choosing songs mainly from Purple Rain and 1999,
Paisley Product entertained the audience with perennial Prince
favorites like “I Would Die 4 U,” “Little Red
Corvette,” “Raspberry Beret” and “Erotic
City.” The covers were generally true to the originals,
although updated from the synthesizer sound to Midwest
Product’s live instruments, electronic clicks and whirrs.
Differences in interpretation were most evident in “Dirty
Mind” and “Controversy,” with the addition of
live guitar. Dykehouse also exhibited a great falsetto,
complementing his smooth tenor. At one point, he jokingly
apologized to the audience, saying, “You might want to clean
out your ears after this song.” But this apology was
unnecessary, since the crowd was clearly enjoying the music and
dancing up a storm.
Paisley Product ended the set with a rousing rendition of
“1999.” Surprisingly, they did not perform “U Got
the Look,” considering that the title of Midwest
Product’s latest album, World Series of Love, is
lifted from the song’s lyrics.
The concert flyer, featuring Dykehouse’s head superimposed
on Prince’s naked body from the Lovesexy album cover,
advertised Saturday’s concert as an “annual tribute to
‘The Artist.’” Given the popularity of Paisley
Product with concertgoers, more live shows might be in the works.
Schmedling mentioned that there was talk of doing a show of David
Bowie covers. Keep your fingers crossed.