Music nerds and gamers alike flocked to the Metro Saturday night, to watch fellow music nerds and gamers, I Fight Dragons. I was initially reeled in by the local sextet when I heard their holiday tune on XRT: a steady Nintendo track behind them, IFD wished listeners a merry Christmas, superhero-style. My curiosity led me to Metro, where there was no mistaking who was in the NES-inspired band: each member was sporting a superhero t-shirt; Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Captain America, The Flash, and the Green Lantern each live on in the IFD lineup.
The band was joined on stage by TVs, each playing old-school video games. Cool. Even cooler were the band members (somehow, someway) playing Nintendo controllers along with the songs. As far as the band’s incorporation of NES tones and samples, I basically heard what I was expecting to; however, not being as familiar with their sound otherwise, I learned IFD is a solid, energetic power-pop band, through-and-through. They hardily delivered song after song, playing up to the crowd, and genuinely enjoying their stage-show, gimmicky it may be.
Their crowd–equally peppy–was thrilled when the band broke into "I Fight Ganon" (The Zelda Theme)"; waves of childhood nostalgia encompassed the crowd, and for a moment, it was 1986 again. They continued with tracks including "Money," and "No One Likes Superman Anymore" (both from their Cool Is Just a Number EP, released earlier this year), and they surprised me with a welcome cover of the Beatles’ "And Your Bird Can Sing."
Ultimately, I found IFD’s nerd-rock press to be a double-edged sword of sorts; their gamer-meets-pop-rock draw was what initially caught my eye, but after 4 or 5 songs, the shtick lost some of its appeal. Stripped of its gamer disposition, I Fight Dragons remains a solid power-pop group. They are still a relatively new band, surely continuing to finesse their identity and overall sound. For those interested in music sans camp, you might want to sit this one out, as it’d be overkill; but for those interested in combining their love for pop music and video games, congratulations, you’ve met your match. – Neph Basedow