Black Lips | 03.01.08

black-lips.jpg When I saw my straight-laced friend crowd-surfing moments after the Black Lips took stage, I knew this was an atypical show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

w/ Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Hot Machines

Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago

The Black Lips, prior to their Logan Square Auditorium performance on March 1, told the Chicago Innerview, "People forget that we’re musicians first and they come and expect us to be wild and insane and hurt ourselves, but sometimes forget to listen to the music. We’re not a gimmick band; we’re not Gwar. Look, if you don’t want to listen to what we’re playing, go rent a porno if you just want to see people pissing on each other."  A simple search of "Black Lips" on YouTube might rub off a "gimmick" feel.  The first result is the comical "Veni Vidi Vici" music video, which features the band dressed in gangsta clothing. Other videos include the 22-year olds that make up the Atlanta-based band (they formed at age 15) traveling Israel, seeking Moonshine, and several pieces of footage from their chaotic show in Tijuana, which birthed the live album, Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo.       

The fans who sold-out Logan Square weren’t propelled by the Gwar-ish appeal, and the Black Lips made it ostensibly clear that they are a band not an act by playing three shows on March 1 (benefit, in-store, night-show) and churning out a 25-song set of the rawest, most energetic rock. When I saw my straight-laced friend crowd-surfing moments after the Black Lips took stage, I knew this was an atypical show. Amidst the drunkenness on stage and among the crowd, the night had cohesiveness, and the wild dancing never turned into idiotic moshing. By song 14, when the set collectively became something much more than the current song being performed, I stopped keeping tabs on the set list and joined the first 10-rows of madness. Although the set had a certain synergy beyond the individual songs themselves, there were definite highlights, namely, "Bad Kids" and "Dirty Hands," which came consecutively, "Not A Problem," and the quasi-Beatles cover during the encore of "Can’t Buy Me Love," which was dedicated to friendship. 

Black Lips can’t take all the credit though; The Hot Machines, Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat, and possibly the best Chicago venue made for a thrilling night. The Ponys watched the Hot Machines from the crowd as their frontman, Jered, deflected the leadership role to Miss Alex White, who conducted ten masterful, distortion-filled songs, including many new ones. Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat are never known to disappoint, especially with the combo of the hilarious gothic puppet show and the electronic, organ-based set with the amazing "JamSkate" and "Place Unknown."  Logan Square, because of the absence of a backstage and a lack of distancing from the fans and bands, allowed for a free, civilized exchange between the two bodies, which continued for over an hour after the show. | Joseph O’Fallon

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