Itchy-O describes itself as "a Denver-based percussion-centered electronic performance band," but from the center of a raging mosh pit, it's what Dr. Moreau would splice together from Daft Punk, a Day of the Dead parade, Black Flag, and your college marching band. The 32-piece band consists of taiko drums, theremins, synthesizers, and custom machines that blast steady streams of sonic static into the atmosphere. By the second song, the band's masked players are stirring through the crowd, pushing patrons out of their way, and stoking the chaos. I don't think I hallucinated a Chinese lion emerging through a cloud of sequin fog. Then again, by the time the final mallet dropped, my ears were ringing and I'd lost about 80% of my water weight in sweat. A job well done.
Seventy-two hours just provided a taste of Fantastic Fest. Heading home early, I missed the cannibal movie that made people throw up, J.J. Abrams' restored cut of Phantasm, the documentary about rats, the eating contest designed to make contestants vomit, the Polish mermaid musical, the Indian karaoke night, and the premiere of a new Godzilla movie. The good news: I made it out of the Satanic Panic Room alive and can go back next year, soul intact.