Har Mar Superstar played his final gig at First Ave. in Minneapolis before he leaves for Ibiza/London for 4 months. I had never seen Sean Tillman perform as Har Mar Superstar, though I did see him twice playing in his other incarnation, Sean Na Na (with albums on Troubleman Unlimited and French Kiss).
If you haven't caught the Rolling Stone buzz for Har Mar, rest assured that his live act was masterful. And masterfully uproarious. Not too familiar with Har Mar's two full-length albums (2000's self-titled release on Kill Rock Stars and 2002's You Can Feel Me on Warner), I found myself thoroughly enjoying both Har Mar's performance and his set. A one-man act, Tillman broadcasts fresh (not in the unique sense) beats and soulful melodies through a boombox, while singing I-Wanna-Sex-You-Up lyrics in the closest reproduction of Stevie Wonder's voice this side of Jamiroquai.
The most characteristic feature of Har Mar's act is his stripping from his silk Ali-like robe with letters reading "Har Mar" haphazardly stitched on his back down to his tighty-whities — all this with a bod that would make fashion models cringe. I hear that ass-less pants are oftentimes involved in the process. For better or worse, they were not this time. At the First Ave. gig, he was also sporting a sweet rat tail mullet (much akin to this one) and a pencil-thin moustache — perhaps a nod to his shopping center namesake. Har Mar gyrates on the mic stand and slithers erotically on the stage floor while singing to his smooth grooves. He also pulls out an array of well-choreographed boy-band dance moves in beautiful satire of one of the most woeful trends in popular music.
But his rock-star attitude is really at the core of his widely-recognized success on stage. Throughout the gig, he instigates the audience with quips like "Give it up for me, I'm the fucking best!" and, right before his "Power Lunch" (stream video here) in which Har Mar infatuates over the high-powered corporate ladies, "I'll bed at least 5 of you by the end of the week." His schtick has even landed him in the can in Oklamhoma.