- I've come to really hate seeing shows at The Warfield. The sound there is usually decent, but the staff are a bunch of assholes. Anyway, this show was a combo Creatures / Siouxsie and the Banshees show. The first four songs were recent-ish Creatures songs, and were really good. Budgie is one hell of a drummer. After the fourth song, Siouxsie had a tantrum about the fact that it was too cold on stage, and they stormed off for ten minutes or so. (Isn't this exactly the opposite of the complaint that most bands have?) She ranted about the staff some more throughout the set, and had a second ten-minute tantrum a few songs later. At one point a cartoon-stereotypical fratboy got up on stage and she tried to beat him with a swinging microphone (which was not nearly as entertaining as it sounds; it was just kind of sad all around.)
All the Creatures songs were great, and all the Siouxsie songs bored me, but that's to be expected, since I'm totally uninterested in almost everything they've recorded as the Banshees post-Hyaena. All things considered, had I left just as she began her first tantrum, I would have had the optimal experience for this show.
Also: when did goths start smoking so much pot? I liked it better when your stereotypical goth was a tweaker, because then they didn't smell as bad unless you got really close. The stench tended not to roll off them in great clouds, at least.
- This was a great show -- the sound was a lot better than at the show in Davis a few months ago. We got there a little late and didn't feel like fighting our way into the sea of people, so we sat on the grassy hill at the back. The sound was surprisingly good up there, and we got to spread out with nobody bumping into us the whole time. It's been many, many years since I've been to a place as big as the Greek Theatre, and I'd forgotten that arenas don't have to suck. So between those two shows (one close up with crap sound, and one far away with good sound) we can sorta cut-and-paste together one optimal show.
The Distillers opened, and they were surprisingly okay, given that what I've seen of them on MTV has been utterly despicable.
Funniest thing about seeing a show in the People's Republic of Berkeley: standing in line at the security pat-down surrounded by great rasta-like plumes of pot smoke.
- Ok, first of all, Hanzel und Gretyl were the first act, and were a big part of the reason I went to this show at all. The tickets said 8PM, and we got in line at 8:15. It was around 8:45 by the we actually made it into the building, and H&G were already done.
- I thought that their second-to-last album, "Animositisomina", was pretty good (though the latest, "Houses of the Molé", is totally unremarkable);
- I heard a rumor that they were going to be opening for themselves, doing a set as the Revolting Cocks;
- I heard that Jello Biafra was going to be singing with them.
Um, hello? If you are so incompetent at running your door that you can't get your customers into the building, you do not start the show until you've gotten the people in! What the fuck!
The Grand is basically a hotel ballroom, not a concert venue, so the whole thing had the feeling of "hey, let's rent out a room at a convention center and have a show there." We were still in the process of trying to figure out whether all the bars in the place were implemented as a pile of bottles on card tables, and whether any of them had rum other than Barton's, when Thrill Kill Kult started. I said, "let's go up front, it can't possibly sound this bad everywhere in this room." Angela noted, "since we're standing in front of the sound board right now, it probably does."
She was right. Halfway through the third song (which I thought was "The Devil Does Drugs" but Pineapplehead says was "Daisy Chain for Satan"; whatever) I'd had enough; I decided that I'd better go wait out in the lobby just in case they decided to play another song that I used to like.
This wasn't totally unexpected; I've seen TKK at least a dozen times, and they're always hit or miss (more often miss.) I've seen them be excellent, and they've also been among the worst shows I've ever seen. This was probably the second worst TKK show I've seen (the worst being during the "13 Above the Night" era, when their show was Groovy and a couple of strippers lip-synching over a DAT.) They were a full band this time, and they seemed energetic, but it just sounded so bad. And that, plus the bright lighting, made it hard to overlook their general horrific dirtbaggyness.
So then Ministry. This is the first time I've seen Ministry since 1988 (that's how much I hated them on the "Land of Rape and Honey" tour) so I didn't have very high expectations. There were three reasons I went:
So, I went to the Ministry show hoping that it would actually be a RevCo & Lard show instead of a Ministry show. Well, turns out, it was a Ministry show after all. We left after the fifth or sixth song, and every song thus far had been from "Molé" (actually, the first song might have been "Deity," but I couldn't tell.) I understand that Jello came on later, but I can't say I regret that we cut our losses when we did.
I guess the sound quality was a bit better for Ministry than it was for TKK (or maybe I was just getting acclimated) but they were doing the whole "undifferentiated wall of guitars" thing that they do, and frankly I think I would have enjoyed a Motörhead show more.
This was my first time seeing a show at The Grand, and definitely my last. The spirit of Maritime Hall lives on there.