December 1st, 2023 at the Belasco Theatre Photos by Stevo Rood, Words by Lawrence Mann
Lots of black t-shirts. Lots of long hair. Lots of swaying.
Wax Trax duo Lead Into Gold featuring Paul Barker formerly of Ministry opened. They smothered us in reverb, echo and distortion and they projected some killer imagery on screens behind them.
To set things straight, I have been listening to Skinny Puppy since the 80’s, but I have to see them. For those that witnessed their shows, this blow-by-blow review will probably be nothing new. For those that haven’t seen them, this will hopefully be intriguing.
The lights came on, there Nivek Ogre sang and gyrated behind a screen. Behind him, for lack of a better name was Minataur Man. He shall be referred to as MM for this review. MM was dressed in a tight leather jumpsuit, a black helmet with bullhorns sticking out and dreads below his knees. In fact, everyone in the band, except Ogre had super long dreads. Ogre gyrated while MM danced behind him holding up knives, guns and horns. After a couple of songs, Ogre came out from behind the screens wearing an alien mask and head shawl. He wouldn’t have looked out of place at the Star Wars bar. As he sang he moved his hand along the screen. MM, still behind the screen, responded in kind. Once their hands touched, they both pulled away as if they were electrocuted.
As the songs progressed, the audience bobbed up and down to the beat. MM came out from behind the screen and began mimicked Ogre’s moves. MM then grabbed a large jar that was filled with and demon alien baby in formaldehyde. The stagehands entered wearing lab coats. As Ogre sang MM injected him with the formaldehyde in the jar. This made Ogre glow. The researcher took notes while MM took measurements of Ogre’s head and body. The notes were crumbled up and thrown into the audience who grabbed them up. MM hooked up a tube to just below Ogre’s throat. MM danced around him with a knife. He then sliced Ogre’s throat, as green blood poured out, the tube was put in the jar. This brought the demon alien baby to life. Ogre held the baby as liquid dripped everywhere. The demon alien baby was hung upside down from a hook where it wiggled throughout the night.
MM tied Ogre to a chair. A hospital curtain was erected in front of Ogre. . MM beat Ogre with a staff. He whacked him so many times his head came off. MM dug around inside Ogre’s body and then reattached his head. The curtain was removed and Ogre sang with his hand over a giant gash in his head, brains hanging out. As he sang he pulled his brains and what looked embiotic fluid out of the gash. MM started pulling on the brain matter, which appeared to be animal entrails. MM placed an organ looking brain matter in the Skinny Puppy mascot at the front of the stage. As the theatrics continued, the band kept up the pounding industrial beat that kept the crowd moving. MM held a complete alien brain, presumably the one pulled out of Ogre’s skull and proceeded to stab it. Ogre put his hand on MM which seem to take his power. MM kept falling to the floor. Ogre tapped MM’s head and a glowing light appeared. He walked it over to the brain, placed it inside and confetti came flying out. MM grabbed a noose and placed it around Ogre’s neck and then they left the stage. The back screen showed Ogre’s body swaying back and forth.
A stagehand in a lab coat came to the front to the stage, picked up the Skinny Puppy mascot and proceeded to lift it up and down. This incited the audience to chant Skinny Puppy in rhythm to his movements and also shouted somethign else that sounded like “Raw Meat.”
The band came back for two more songs. Ogre came returned to the sage all cleaned up, wearing a baseball cap, smiling and waving to the audience. Whether you like or dislike the music, you can’t argue that it’s entertaining. I always liked the music, I walked away with a deeper appreciation seeing them in their theatrical element. With equal parts Throbbing Gristle, Ministry, Alien Sex Fiend and Alice Cooper it is hard not to be a fan. It looked like they were going to call the night, but the crowd screamed, chanted, demanded one more. The band obliged with a beautiful rendition of Candle. A great final performance.
VX Gas Attack
Deep Down Trauma Hounds
Human Disease (S.K.U.M.M.)
Brad (with Download tease)
To submit an article an article or review, or to just say hello hit us at [email protected]
Also- check out the search feature in the upper right hand corner and search for your favorite artist, event, venue or genre. You’ll be surprised at what you find!
Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.