With no introduction and no hesitation, Jonathan Bree, aka The Singing Slenderman, takes the stage. He’s not alone either. With him is a small army of ghostface clones all wrapped in the same white mask.
From the moment that first note drops, I could tell that I was about to be in for a SPOOKY ride. His voice was low and silky and drenched in reverb. He honestly sounds like the Candyman, if the Candyman were a white guy. That’s a compliment though.
He wastes no time bursting into a three-song suite where the detuned melodies begin to blur in a way I can only describe as hazy, operatic and goth. I’m not familiar with the work, but the lyrics I can hear pop out of the fog are “death” and “degenerate”. Homeboy has got a real dark stew of an album going on and for the longest I couldn’t pinpoint how to describe it accurately….
Then it hit me….
This shit feels like Tim Burton made a movie out of the mannequin challenge. This shit feels like a lost episode of American Horror Story. This shit feels like Radiohead had a baby with Yeezus and the baby came out with four arms and three legs.
The only reprieve from the melancholic slow jams came in the form of a brief acapella somewhere near the middle of his set. When it’s just him and the mic, dude has a way with words. His lyrics sitting somewhere on the scale between Clive Barker murder poetry and emo scene girl cosplaying her favorite Black Veil Bride (yeah that’s right, I know metal culture too y’all).
There hasn’t been a peep from the crowd yet either. I can’t tell if the audience is in love with him, or just stuck in a trance of boredom. I would bet a rack that its the latter though. Of course, just seconds later, I overheard a girl singing lyrics his word for word. I stand corrected. Now I owe somebody a rack.
White roses get tossed into the mob and women rush to catch them like wedding bouquets. I swear someone tries to catch one with their teeth. The antics don’t stop there either, during another song, he literally just steps back and let’s his white masked maiden mime him on the microphone. Then he steps back in a sings through a vocoder, letting her have the main melody.
By the end of the night I’m exhausted from living out Jonathan’s broadway play version of the Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s not my cup of tea. But it’s well thought out, well produced, and so well organized you have to at least appreciate the effort that went into it.
Jonathan Bree, I salute you for being different and niche, and for catering to your core.