Another night at the Regent and I barely survived the chaos, the mayhem, the insanity of the night. Some shows bring energy, some nights are rowdy, then you have a night headlined by the Black Lips with two other high-energy, rock-insanity bands like Starcrawler and Timmy’s Organism, and the night reaches another level of fracas, especially when you want to stay in the front to take picture. It was a battle, a war field, but I fought all night long, lost my glasses and a few buttons attached to my bag, was hit several times by people’s feet in the neck, but it was all worth it for the sake of rock ‘n’ roll.
I have covered Starcrawler so many times it is ridiculous but I mean every word I have written about them and more…. Someone who had never seen them told me after the show: ‘Starcrawler? They are gonna be famous, they do every single thing rock ‘n’ roll is about’. And he is right, the young band covers all the grounds, channels Black Sabbath and the Stooges, and build their own out-of-control spectacle of fury and debauchery inspired by the wildest act of garage punk and heavy metal. Of course Arrow de Wilde is the center of attraction, infinitely tall and thin, she has the energy of a tons of frontman/woman, she acts like a menacing psych-ward escapee, spitting blood on the crowd and making the most bizarre faces while faking masturbation. The spectacle is explosive and doesn’t let you breathe a second, while restless Henri Cash and his guitar attack from every corners of rock ‘n’ roll history. Altogether – Tim Franco is on bass and Austin Smith is on drums – they build a raucous wall of sound, and you will probably not get their single ‘Ants’ out of your head once you have heard it. They could well be the future of rock and I have no doubt they will raise above everyone… aren’t they part of this Foo Fighters’ festival Cal Jam 17 in October? Well done kids and see you there.
During Timmy’s Organism’s set, I had the expression ‘raw meat’ coming to me, I know it’s a Black Lips song but the expression takes all its power knowing that I am a vegetarian! This band was a trip of its own, raw to the fullest, beat-like to the max, playing the most outrageous music from the dirtiest parts of Detroit rock ‘n’ roll. Their frontman sounded and looked like a beast with a demonic guitar, a Cro-Mag man pursued by a psychedelic power, I just couldn’t get over the power and the screams unleashed behind the green foggy light that was bathing the stage. And, as if he had understood me, he slowly transformed into a real monster, little by little, wearing a fur coast to get closer to the wild animal sleeping inside, smashing blue paint over his face, then putting on the ugliest mask you can imagine. It was both poetic and scary, some creature coming from a David Lynch’s nightmare while producing a manic stomp of distortion. These guys had understood everything about search and destroy.
The headliners were the Black Lips, and the level of energy from the crowd reached a new level of insanity as soon as they took the stage, wow, do these kids loooove them! It was a non-stop stage-diving and crowd-surfing like during the good old days of Burgerama, and from their raucous ‘Sea of Blasphemy’ to ‘Raw Meat’, I could barely stay at my spot, but I did, like a soldier at the front, till the end.
These punk-hippies cowboy bastards have some catchy tunes as you probably know if you have heard ‘Family Tree’, or ‘New Direction’, but their live shows go way beyond the simple hooky fun song, they are the trashy band by definition, encouraging mayhem and disorder. And when I say encouraging, I mean it because they didn’t do anything outrageous on stage themselves. Although they are known for their crazy behavior even involving nudity and other lewd acts, we only got a crowd surfing from Jack Hines, and my pictures of the band does no reflect the craziness going on behind my back in the audience. What a waste of toilet paper a Black Lips concert is, at least this gets very handy when you need to clean up your camera as you are constantly sprinkled with beer and other liquids coming from all directions. Next time, I will stand in the back, because a Black Lips show is at least 50% crowd participation and I would even say that more energy was coming from the public than from the stage, especially during the numerous sing-alongs… is there anything to be done to calm down these kids? Each one of them wants their minute of glory, and girls in particular, all want a piece of Cole, Jared and Jack, and couldn’t get out of the stage once they got there! Plus, I have an announcement to make, if you are over, let’s say 160 lbs, please stop stage diving or you are gonna hurt someone! But that was the least of their worries, and nobody could prevent a few collateral damages in the process.
A strange thing happened at the end of the show, the lights were already on, everybody was about to leave when the band came back on stage for two more songs including a cover of the Almighty Defenders’ ‘Bow Down and Die’. At that time, I had moved away from my spot and could get a better view of that unruly crowd surfing.
If I recognized many songs, they also played a few new ones from their brand new Sean-Ono-Lennon-produced ‘Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?’ Sean Lennon? How did he get involved with these bad boys? One sure is certain, they have some crazy western-inspired rides whipped by agonizing screams and may be I could suggest to Quentin Tarantino to use ‘Occidental Front’ for his next movie?
Sea of Blasphemy
Can’t Hold On
Drive By Buddy
The Last Cul de Sac
Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah
Bow Down and Die
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – August 1975 (Volume 7, Number 3)
If I did fifty shows I’d get the money from one
a growling, prowling slap pump and just another all American
a 28 song full, full blown reggae rasta brilliance
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1975 (Volume 7, Number 2)
the boundary breaking shock rocker of the decade
Harry seems to have it sewn up
a superb songwriter who can fill an album with excellent country mainstreamers
lovely tribute to her single mom
a classical guitarist and composer and has released more than 30 solo albums
“The song is about a mental institution”
Freakout Records Announce The 10th Annual Freakout Festival Taking Place on November 10-13 in Ballard (Seattle, WA)
a diverse arrangement of voices and sounds