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Sunday, December 17

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Review Wed Mar 05 2008

The Black Lips at Logan Square Auditorium

Is it weird to be disappointed at a lack of vomiting?

Atlanta group the Black Lips may have built a reputation for their onstage antics, which have included barfing and urinating, but it's their sloppy southern rock-meets-rockabilly that keeps the parishioners coming back for more. At their March 1 show at the Logan Square Auditorium, the night's theme was energy: who brought it, who lacked it, and who filled in where needed.

Hot Machines
opened up the evening with a riotous set full of heavy, thudding distortion. As usual, the venue suffers from a case of crappy acoustics, so, not having seen the Chicago-based band play before, it was difficult to tell whether their blurriness was on purpose or not. Either way, they made up for it with plenty of rock 'n roll heart -- I hadn't seen an audience this engaged with an opener in a long while. And let me tell you, if guitarist Miss Alex White wasn't endearing enough with her Annie 'fro and kickass guitarist/vocalist skills, then hearing a woman (who I took to be her mother) push to the front explaining "Fucker, that's my kid up there!" sent me reeling over the edge.


Fellow Chicagoans Quintron and Miss Pussycat followed with a theatrical performance amid smoke machines, light displays, a puppet theater, and the raddest keyboard/drum machine/car grill out there. Quintron played the mad scientist to Miss Pussycat's flashy maraca and vocal accompaniment, pounding out thick organ chords set to dance beats. Unfortunately, the set was derailed from time to time by technical difficulties. While it was amusing to watch Quintron peer under the hood of his keyboardmobile, it was hard to maintain the pace of the show. Miss Pussycat's puppetry, while fun and creative, seemed tacked on by the end.

But, ah, those Black Lips. They wasted no time tearing into the opening track of their latest album, Good Bad Not Evil, before launching into their single, "Oh Katrina!" The crowd went bananas at this socio-political sing-along, chanting, stage diving, and generally reminding me of Against Me! about five years ago. The band was good and for the most part tight, but they often seemed to be carried by their frenzied fans, rather than the other way around. This was perhaps in part that it was the second (if not third) show they'd played that day (they had an earlier show at Reckless Records). While the guys were definitely troopers, the palpable energy was emanating from the audience rather than from on stage. By the time they closed with "Everybody's Doing It" and a cover of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business," everyone seemed as pooped out as a classroom of pre-schoolers.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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