Best Star of the Show

Staff Pick

Missoula is blessed with a particularly creative music scene. Rock Lotto, for example, plays musician mashup with willing artists from across the local landscape, creating one-night-only bands with names and setlists that scar the mind for much longer. Pancakes is a band that raps about pancakes and bring Bisquick boxes to its shows. There was a Bauhaus tribute one night. And don’t even get us started on stage antics, especially if it involves cat litter.

But until recently, no band we know of ever included a human-sized dancing echinoderm as part of its live show. We’re talking about a starfish. A big, trippy, multi-colored starfish doing its best Teletubbies-like wobble through a packed Wilma Theatre for The Whizpops CD-release concert in May. That marine invertebrate damn near stole the show—and the thing doesn’t even have hands.

For those who don’t know, The Whizpops are Missoula’s most popular kids band and they have a devoted following that would make Phish jealous. In addition to some serious musicianship (again, you’re on notice, Phish), The Whizpops punctuate their bigger shows with costumes, special guests and, in the past, an adorable dancing dinosaur. But the band upped its game with the addition of the starfish—a special surprise that sent a crowd of grade-school kids (and some of their parents) into a sugar-like rush of happiness. Just imagine how that starfish would be received at a Phish show.

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