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Sex, moustaches, and music

BY HANNAH KRAMER | MARCH 26, 2010 7:30 AM

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Clad in leisure suits, zebra-print spandex, and robot costumes, the Flavor Savers members never forget aviator sunglasses or questionably real mustaches in preparation for a show full of pelvic-thrusting dance moves and comedy.

“Literally, the Flavor Saver is a grouping of facial hair that catches and retains various well … various flavors that can be enjoyed at a later occasion,” band member Romeo Dance Cheetah said. “It also serves as a metaphor for saving the flavor of music, energy, and our zest for life.”

The Flavor Savers will perform at Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St., at 8 p.m. Saturday, with opener the Post Mortems. Admission is $6.

The band is made up of a core of three members, brothers Cheetah and Bronco Festiva, as well as Rodney BelAire. Cheetah is a UI alumnus who moved to Chicago after school and decided to start the band. With anywhere between three and seven guys performing at a time, a number of musicians flow in and out of the group.

Drawing inspiration from Tom Selleck, Flight of the Conchords, Hall and Oates, Freddy Mercury, Jack Black, and alcohol, there is an innovative energy that the group brings to the stage.

A standout moment for the band was getting to open for one of the members’ idols, John Oates.

“We were pretty nervous about opening for him, but we got on stage and we were playing, and when we were done, a few people started chanting ‘F— Oates. Keep playing.’ — which was definitely awesome,” BelAire said.

The goal for each show is to get everybody in the audience dancing and having a good time. Sometimes, this includes gorillas.

“We were performing in the gorilla enclosure at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. It was a black-tie affair and very swanky,” Bronco Festiva said. “As we proceeded to rock the house, we noticed the gorillas were waking up and watching us from behind the glass. The trainers ordered us to stop rocking because the gorillas were getting pissed off. But we’re pretty sure that’s just how monkeys dance.”

The band said comedy is a great way to get people to loosen up and start the party during a Flavor Savers performance.

Cheetah said the balance of comedy and musicality is “like a burrito — the meat is the music and the beans are the comedy, and the rice is … we’re also poets. But there’s also lettuce.”

The group uses the word “sexy” to describe its vibe. According to the band members, sexy is whatever makes the audience members feel good about themselves in their own skin.

“For me, it’s like a mustache or tight white jeans, a nicely scented musk cologne, or gold chains, and my own dance moves,” BelAire said.

Having the confidence, or as BelAire said, “the insanity,” to put themselves out there in a band such as this is something that comes with being received in opposing ways by different observers.

“The line between being super sexy and really masculine and almost homosexual or flamboyantly gay is a really fine line,” BelAire said.


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