The three members of Supernova walked on stage Wednesday at the Whisky wearing cumbersome space helmets that looked a lot like air-duct piping, shiny metallic suits and freakish smiles. After stripping down to yellow trunks and bright-blue ankle boots, the Costa Mesa band launched into a set of quirky new-wave tunes with a campy bite, putting on a show that was as spontaneously funny as a skit from the Belushi-era "Saturday Night Live."
When pop and satire collide, it's usually disastrously boneheaded (think Primus), but Supernova's clever, renegade approach hits home because it never succumbs to the obvious. They sang songs about Mentos (yes, the candy) in a high-pitched yak, and advised, "You better take your vitamins. They're good for you."
In a song called "Monster," the bassist did an impression of badly dubbed dialogue over music that bristled with Ramones-like energy and Devo-esque stiffness. Supernova's avid fans, who zealously sang along with the music, wore tin-foil headpieces and armbands that they eventually lobbed onto the stage in tribute.
The band closed the hourlong set with the Supernova anthem: "We are Supernova. We are superstars." Maybe in some parallel universe this band is bigger than Michael Jackson, but here on Earth, Supernova simply rules the realm of the absurd.