By Margaret Welsh
Pittsburgh Current Music Editor
Any sci-fi fan knows that visiting extraterrestrials must someday return to their home planet, and, sadly for us, that time has come for Starship Mantis.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, the band appears at Spirit, in Lawrenceville for its “final show on planet earth,” after which, well, only the stars can say.
In 2018, the Pittsburgh, PA, Earth-based six-piece released Trapped in the 9th Dimension, an ambitious, energetic record that melded ’70s prog rock with a mishmash theatrical glam, ’80s r&b, mid-aughts hip-hop and cosmic space music from across time (think Genesis, Sun Ra, Return to Forever, Funkadelic, Bowie, the Coup, etc. etc. etc.)
The follow-up, 2019’s Black Hole Radio AM/FM, continue the storyline where Trapped left off: the band, we’re told in a series of skits, managed to escape the 9th dimension (and happened to pick up a few more influences along the way — “Give It Any Minute” could be a Bruno Mars smash-hit, and “Future Dance” evokes Frank Ocean-style romanticism).
It takes considerable skill (and confidence) to pull all of this off, and the band members have the musicianship to make it sound easy. It’s all about making both mind and body buzz (to put it into their words, “Your brain is in your butt.”)
This final send-off to space will likely be a wild time, and it’s recommended that fans buy tickets in advance. Special guest performers include Clara Kent, Buffalo Rose, Hunnycomb, and Michael Canton of the Soul Show. 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $10-12. www.spiritpgh.com