Masked Intruder/Elway/Sam Russo - Live in Durham (Cover Artwork)

Masked Intruder / Elway / Sam Russo

Live in Durham (2013)

live show

An album being performed in its entirety for the first time, a man in a green mask owning a cover of Green Day's "JAR," and a singer/songwriter from across the pond singing directly to your soul. If you weren't at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC, on July 22, 2013, you missed one memorable show.

While the opening acts had already set the bar pretty high, Masked Intruder stole this night's Red Scare Across America show, a crime they are more than familiar with. Blue, Yellow, Green, and Red brought an energy unmatched in the scene today. A shirtless cop impersonator carried fans around the pit, with victim and enforcer singing along to the catchiest law breakers around. After speeding through a hand full of songs from their self titled debut, Masked Intruder switched up the pace, asking for requests and voicing their fears over the film Robocop. Local punk rock icon Scotty Sandwich joined three giggling ladies on stage to perform the requested "Heart Shaped Guitar." All four had been invited on stage by name, as Blue Intruder had the audience of two dozen introduce themselves earlier in the set.

Scotty was no stranger to the Durham stage. It was his third time up there this evening, singing along with Elway's closer, "It's Alive!," and kicking off the show with his band Almost People. He was just returning the favor to Tim Browne of Elway, who had sang with the Durham band during their brief set. Aside from the mentioned track off "Delusions," Elway's entire performance consisted of "Leavetaking" in its entirety, a first according to Browne. Any nerves the members had performing some of the songs for the first time out of the studio were kept hidden from the enthusiastic crowd. There were some minor hiccups along the way, such as a slight delay before "Ariel" as the band's rhythm section were still in the pit slow dancing with Sam Russo to "Montreal".

Half an hour earlier, Sam Russo had performed feet away from where he was swaying on that very floor. Taking requests and showing off mosquito bites from the previous night's rest, Russo made eye contact with each member of the sparse crowd. Perhaps it was the delivery, maybe it was the intimate setting, but each of Russo's songs packed even more of a punch than on his Red Scare debut, "Storm."

With most of the country left in their sights, there's plenty of opportunities to get sweaty and lose your voice with the pride of Red Scare.