These days, it would be easy to dismiss a band like Blownload, whose music sounds like so much of that late '90s industrial metal and its ilk. But instead of trying to prove what badasses they were last night, the guys in Blownload jumped around -- not as a dark display of aggression as you'd expect, but as an enthusiastic joyful release. You're kind of obligated to do that sort of thing, though, when you ask the crowd, like Blownload did, if it likes vagina and follow that up by doing a song about pussy. Surprisingly, the crowd was into the band in a big way, and the foursome responded in kind, shaking hands on the way off stage with big smiles. The excitement rubbed off on the crowd.
The stage darkened for uncounted moments before Thrill Kill Kult swarmed on stage to take their places. Going for more of a motorcycle, rockabilly glam look rather than fetish this time, the Kult delivered its usually inspired show. Going straight into the tribal rhythms of "Devil Bunnies," the band once again made its case for turning even the silliest songs in the live setting into powerfully celebratory affairs.
"Do You Fear (For Your Child)" followed along with an especially spirited rendition of "Burning Dirt." But the Kult hit its stride for this show with "The Days of Swine and Roses," in which Groovie Mann and Pepper Somerset complemented each other's vocals with seemingly effortless verve. "Sex on Wheelz" came halfway through the set, and that definitely got the crowd dancing. "Kooler Than Jesus," meanwhile, seemed more stripped down than the studio version, but Mann's vocals also seemed much stronger.
After "Cuz It's Hot," Praga Khan came on stage and lead the crowd into a chant of "Thrill Kill Kult" until the band came back on for a mid-show encore. First came "And This is What the Devil Does" before the group closed with "Leathersex." With never a dull moment, Thrill Kill Kult received enough applause and cheers to do a second encore.
Lord of Acid frontman Praga Khan must have took his vitamins that morning because the guy was on fire for the whole show. He was in such great spirits, it was clear he was having fun, and his bandmates seemed to share that mood throughout. Erhan Kurkun looked Bootsy Collins-esque down to the outfit and sunglasses. It would be hard to find a more dynamic bass player. Beyond just that, this entire new line-up seemed excited to be performing this music.
Opening with "Sex Bomb," it seemed as though Lords of Acid felt like it had to up the ante compared to Thrill Kill Kult's incredibly strong opening performance, and each of them laid into it with intention and intensity. New singer Lacey Conner was a commanding figure whose moves and general poise immediately established her as an important component of this incarnation of the band. "Get Up and Get High" had especially strong vocals, as Khan and Conner did duets. For "Spank My Booty," Khan and others helped people up on stage until it was nearly filled with people dancing.
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Over the course of the set, Khan frequently looked like Klaus Kinski gone acid house, only far more benevolent. He repeatedly pushed members of his band into the assembled crowd, who graciously propped everyone up and got them back to the stage -- even Khan, who crowdsurfed to the second tier and back during "Most Wonderful Girl."
A bit before that, it was obvious Khan had a bit to drink, but it added to the wild feel of the show overall. The set would have ended with "The Crablouse," but the crowd induced the Lords to come back on stage for more. First in the encore was "Pussy," and this time, just women were invited up on to the stage.
The whole thing came to an end with a rendition of "I Sit On Acid," which rivaled any other performance in looseness but also in how it felt seeing a band in high form and cutting loose enough to go off the script in a way that burned itself into your brain.
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: Any band that makes social conservatives uncomfortable is cool. Random Detail: Nitzer Ebb's That Total Age played almost in its entirety between the Thill Kill Kult and Lords of Acid sets. By the Way: A Lords of Acid show is no place for a pre-teen.