The Residents to play Palác Akropolis

The band has been shrouded in mystery for almost half a century

The mysterious San Francisco art rock band the Residents will be at Palác Akropolis on Feb. 9 as part of the European leg of their In Between Dreams tour.

The band is perhaps still most famous for always appearing in masks, often in the shape of eyeballs in top hats. Even after more than four and a half decades, the public does not know what the band members look like.

They have released over 60 albums since their debut in 1969, including concept albums like Wormwood: Curious Stories from the Bible.

The band describes itself as a rock band, an arts collective, and a spirit that has been an icons in the world of experimental music.

They have pioneered trance, world fusion, electronica, punk, industrial and lounge music, and are also among the originators of performance art and music videos. Their early videos are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

They have scored films and TV series as well as several projects for MTV. The group has released 10 DVDs, and two internet series.

For their 40th anniversary a few years ago, the band performed as a power trio rather than a quartet.

The group re-formed as the Real(?) Residents, a four-piece combo that played at the Blue Note jazz club in Tokyo in early 2017 and then toured starting in Copenhagen. That show, In Between Dreams, is the one that is coming to Akropolis.

Since the identity of the band members is a secret, they are known by stage names. The power trio was Randy, Rico and Bob. The re-formed real (?) lineup is Tyrone on vocals, Eekie on guitar, Erkie on keyboards and new member Cha Cha on percussion.

The show so far has used a blue-and-white checkered backdrop, lighting effects, and a giant ball screen showing short animated clips between songs. The videos consisted of various well-known figures such as Richard Nixon and John Wayne recalling dreams.

Only one band member has ever been identified. In 2018, a man named Hardy Fox passed away from an illness at age 73, and the band acknowledged on their website that he was an “engineer, producer and sometime composer of much of the Residents’ best-loved work.” The current lineup lists one of the members as new, so that person is likely a replacement.

The Residents began around the same time the Beatles broke up, and one of the original rumors was that George Harrison, who did not like to appear on stage, was one of the people in the eyeball masks. This seems to have been completely unfounded, as Harrison’s career went on in a completely different direction, though he did release an early experimental electronic music album.

Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo is alleged to have been involved at one point, and that has never been fully refuted.

People who have worked with the band in the studio have always rebutted any rumors of who is in the band, so the identities of the other members still remain a mystery.

Some people have even turned to voiceprint analysis to try to figure it out but have found no matches.

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