The Black Lips | 04.07.10

What happened next was a blur of in your face, psychedelic garage punk, crowd surfing, fans flooding the stage, and at times vulgar activity from the band.

 

w/ the Box Elders and The Blind Eyes Firebird, St. Louis

The Firebird was packed last night for a triple threat of loud ass rock bands including local favorites The Blind Eyes, Omaha’s The Box Elders and headliners The Black Lips from Atlanta. The energy was sky high in the extremely intimate venue, especially for a Wednesday night downtown.
 
The Blind Eyes took the stage first and got the already good-sized crowd more than fired up. This is one of the tightest local bands – guitarist/vocalist Seth Porter, bassist/vocalist Kevin Schneider and drummer Matt Picker work together like a well-oiled machine, ripping through catchy indie rock-power pop tunes like “January,” “Go Right Now,” and “The High Life” from their 2009 release Modernity and closing their set with a killer new tune called “ Hold Down the Fort,” which Picker tells me will be released on their upcoming album, due in late summer.
 
The Box Elders, from Omaha, Neb. (they mentioned this at least six times) are an incredibly interesting band, blending a mix of sounds and styles from punk to 60s pop to psychedelic rock. For me, their set was the standout of the night – I enjoyed them even more than the headlining Black Lips. This was mainly because watching The Box Elders for the first time had me witness two things I had never seen – both the guitarist and bassist, brothers Jeremiah and Clayton McIntyre, playing double necks at the same time; and a drummer (the outstanding Dave Goldberg) hammering the drums and playing keyboards simultaneously, holding one drumstick in his mouth. This band’s enthusiasm was only matched by their clearly demonstrated abilities with their instruments.
 
As if The Box Elders hadn’t just tore the roof off the joint, The Black Lips next hit the stage like a tsunami. They seemed truly energized by the crowd’s enthusiasm, even a bit surprised by it. What happened next was a blur of in your face, psychedelic garage punk, crowd surfing, fans flooding the stage, and at times vulgar activity from the band.
 
Just before they started, my friend informed me that The Black Lips are noted for on-stage antics that would make Sid Vicious blush – many involving body parts and fluids. I hung toward the back so as to avoid the mosh pit and the frat house “humor” and chose to concentrate instead on the music – balls to the wall rock n’ roll from a band that counts Bo Diddley and Robitussin among its influences.
 
All in all a mind-blowing night of raucous music from three equally adept bands. The fact that The Firebird deemed this a non-smoking show made it all the more enjoyable. Everyone in attendance seemed to leave with a satisfied grin (if not shattered eardrums). | Amy Burger

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