Protomen concert rocks ‘The House’


Members of the band the: “Protomen” perform at the House Cafe on Tuesday night.

By David Stenger

We do not simply see The Protomen to rock–we go to see The Protomen fight.

The Protomen had a concert 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at The House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway.

The concept of The Protomen is very different from most other rock groups. The group’s songs are about creating stories and fables through a combination of lyrics, guitar, drums and a keyboard. The story tells of a dystopian future where things are not going well for humanity and the only way to stop bad things from happening is to fight. The band didn’t just view the concert as a way to tell a good story: It was also a battle tale.

The band was formed in Nashville, Tenn., in 2003. The group has switched out many of its members over time, but its principles are the same. The basic idea for the group was inspired by the video game “Mega Man,” which the group used as a starting point for its stories. All the members have alternate identities that are references to movies, songs and other popular culture. The group members wear face paint or other accessories to make them seem more robotic, giving off a futuristic vibe. One group member, K.I.L.R.O.Y., wears a mask with a voice changer the entire concert.

At the beginning of the concert, it was apparent The Protomen were about to tell a story. K.I.L.R.O.Y came up on stage in the crowded House Cafe, talking as if he were preparing groups to join a rebellion.

“There is a battle out there to fight,” K.I.L.R.O.Y. said. “Will you fight with us tonight?” Cheer erupted from the crowd and he continued, “We are your heros, we are your salvation, we are your hope. We are… The Protomen.”

He talked about a dystopian future The Protomen created, and said the time had come for battle.

After this intro, “Hope Rides Alone” was played. It started with a slow buildup that kept growing louder and louder until the music exploded with a guitar, the drums and synthesizers. All this sound caused the House audience to scream out with the music. From that point on, the music intensity kept growing. It was a night full of singing, fist pumping, head-banging and just plain rocking out.

The music of The Protomen is told as if they were acts in a play. Acts I and II have been finished and released, but the band is working on Act III. As a special encore, the group presented a sneak peak of Act III by performing “Hold Back the Night,” a song from the unfinished album.

The band has released a tribute album to the music of Queen and Black Sabbath, as the songs they chose for this tribute album have motifs of heroism and struggle, similar to the group’s original songs.

Being able to see The Protomen was a unique experience, and it was an unforgettable performance. If anyone is a fan of rock music or a fan of the old school Mega Man series, then he or she owes it to his or herself to check out this group. Enjoy the music and just rock out to some excellent stories told through their songs.