How liberating is it to hide one’s identity whilst performing? These bands enjoy the theatre, freedom and novelty of getting masked or costumed up for a gig to hide their identities.
Discover my top five Masked Bands of all time.
Live entertainment incorporating costumes, masks and makeup has been present from the earliest of Greek plays and operas, where more recently, superstars like David Bowie, Alice Cooper and Kiss have made make up and theater a major part of their career. One would question if they would have had the same amount of success without the exterior add-ons.
Below is a list of my top 5 masked bands, some of which have managed to maintain their individual identities for longer than some of our better known masked superheroes.
Initially formed in 1966, the Residents are an anonymous masked band who has managed to maintain their secret identities since formation. This has been possible as all information regarding the band is handled by ‘The Cryptic Corporation’ and often regarded as being fictional.
The Residents have managed to release over sixty albums, three interactive CD Rom’s and produce a number of strangely surreal videos.
Their onstage costumes vary depending on the current band these, but their most recognized persona’s are the giant eyeball heads worn by each of the band members.
TISM (This Is Serious Mum) were a Melbourne based Australian Band formed in 1982 as a means to poke fun at the rock industry in general, yet managed to attain underground / independent success.
Their lyrics often relate to pop culture, literature and art with numerous references to Melbourne icons and landmarks.
Their first concert in 1983 was a failure and they officially split up, yet returned to the live scene a year later. Every performance since has been considered a re-union performance.
Most TISM releases were involved with some sort of controversy or other from album art covers of Sinead O’ Connor tearing up a picture of the Pope, to a picture of a Koala (which looked strikingly similar to a character created by prominent Sydney artist Ken Done) with a heroin needle. Law suits were not uncommon to TISM often resulting into withdrawn releases, which only encouraged fans to purchase any material on its immediate release.