Jay Reatard Forcibly Removes Fans From — and Forcibly Invites Them to — Stage

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Vivian Girl Photo: Ryan Muir

Last night at Santos' Party House, Jay Reatard betrayed no hint of CMJ fatigue, giving his typical tornado of a performance, belting out fifteen songs with nary a break (except to take a slug of beer during a frenzied guitar swap) and no talking save the shouted song titles of his garage-punk anthems. The school-night crowd was fairly subdued for the opening acts, but Reatard and his similarly spastic bandmates got the audience moshing and stage diving in short order — though the under-capacity crowd made both a little silly, and the latter proved a little dangerous, with one hapless would-be diver getting chucked off stage at show's end, perhaps to be enshrined on YouTube among a half-dozen others who made the same mistake at Reatard shows past. But despite his tacky nom de rock, Reatard (born Jay Lyndsey) is more a lover than a fighter, and the high point of the night was when he actually threw a nerdy dude up onto the stage, then gave him his guitar and let him shred while Reatard screamed into the mike next to him.