I arrived late, just in time to see the first act walk off stage. I don’t know how her performance went, but her white gown was pretty and she was wearing horns. Hm. Surprised by a scant and unenthused crowd, I enjoyed having my face melted by Teen Inc. Young, funky, and smooth—Teen Inc. is like a private university educated version of Prince. Exquisitely executed genre music delivered with pizzazz. I was shocked to find that Os Mutantes would be playing next—leaving the headliner spot for Ariel Pink. Os Mutantes is one of my favorite bands of all time. I reviewed their show at the Echoplex, and—for the first time—screamed with glee like a teenage groupie during their encore performance of one of my favorite songs. This time, however, I couldn’t get into it. Os Mutantes performs bliss with unparalleled sincerity, prowess, and inspiration. I felt nothing, but I’lll chalk that up to recent life experience. I know their performance was just as amazing as last year’s because my roommate—who experienced Os Mutantes for the first time at the Music Box—was shimmying like an electrified carnival dancer and smiling ear to ear. I excused myself to drink more and returned to see the best performance by Ariel Pink and co. that I have ever witnessed. After a whirlwind tour and surrounded by his best band yet, Ariel was free to wander hither and thither muttering and hooting while his collaborators held it down. Songs from Before Today sounded just like the album—not a simple feat considering the group vocals, spacey synth work, suddenly funky rhythm changes and countermelodies, and lead vocals oscillating between casual affectation and the powerful precision required to play a really good rock ‘n’ roll show. From bedroom recordings and family band theatrics that sounded like melted cassettes left out in the sun to tastefully professional production and performances—Ariel Pink and his Haunted Graffiti has risen to the rank of the rock star, headlining a show featuring one of the world’s greatest psych rock bands with a legacy of nearly 40 years.