11 p.m. Friday Norman Music Festival Sooner Theatre Stage, 101 E. Main
9 p.m. Saturday
VZD’s Restaurant & Club, 4200 N. Western
It had been almost a decade of wanting what you couldn’t have for rock’s The Mimsies. After the Norman-to- L.A. band split in 2004, its members migrated across the country, and the years since have been spent waiting and wishing.
“It’s strange. For the last seven years of considering doing a reunion, there needed to be all these things fall into place for such a thing to happen,” lead singer Casey Nassberg said.
“Those contingencies would never happen, and I kind of wrote it off.”
She and her bandmates, guitarist Jerod Vance and drummer Ed Van Buskirk, had a lot to miss. Their years together were blessed ones, finding themselves under the wing of bands like L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat, gigging with AFI and Good Charlotte, snagging a record deal and playing the main stage during the 2002 Warped Tour.
“We slept on floors together, played in front of thousands of kids together and went through all the ups and downs together,” Nassberg said, “and I missed that.”
The Mimsies finally found things falling into place late last year. They nabbed a new bassist in Brooks Emery, and finally staged that longawaited reunion show last November at Blue Note.
It was a return to form for the sex-charged rock group; although Nassberg spent the past few years doing everything from managing a law firm to personal training, she hadn’t lost a step from her heyday of aggressively fronting the act. She remembers the years developing that style fondly.
“We had these four-hour, grueling sets at sports bars in northern OKC. Prior to that, I was kind of shy onstage,” she said. “Once you play at a place like that, where people are there to get drunk, watch TV and get laid with no inclination to listen to the music ... you have to get kind of aggressive. I don’t think of myself as a female vocalist; I think of myself as a front man.”
She took to both shock antics and little teases, downing patrons’ drinks, sitting in audience members’ laps and tugging them by the collar. During her break from rock ’n’ roll, her experience in burlesque has helped refine her stage presence.
“It’s taught me to slow down a little bit. It’s something I needed,” Nassberg said. “The whole ethos behind burlesque is the tease. There’s a lot of time spent on the buildup, and I’ve been trying to hold back a little more.”
The Mimsies’ two coming shows, Friday at Norman Music Festival and Saturday at VZD’s, promise to be a peek at a sustained return.
“I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we are tickled to be talking and playing music together,” Nassberg said. “I think there will be more shows to come.”