Thursday, December 18, 2008
Suicide - Live At Club Europa December 11, 2008
I was fortunate enough to attend that rarest of rare occurences, a live Suicide show, last Thursday night. It was my second time seeing them, as I also caught their free show at the South Street Seaport last summer; nothing quite as weird as seeing the darkest of bands playing outdoor in the sunshine to a crowd full of drunk yuppies.
This time, they chose the odd venue of Club Europa in Greenpoint, a two-floor club that mostly hosts local acts, not seminal ones that have influenced everything that has come since. It's actually a nice venue, as the upstairs as a nice bar in the back, a stage in the front with plenty of room to either stand or you can grab a seat on the couches that surround the dancefloor. I arrived in time to catch the A.R.E. Weapons setting up, after a typically long wait for the cursed G train. I've seen the A.R.E. Weapons before, but have never really found them to be very compelling. I hear descriptions of noise rock, electro rock, confrontational, etc., but that wasn't what I heard that night. It just sounds like blah glam-y punk or something; the tunes didn't grip me, they definitely didn't venture into noise territory and generally made me wish I had come an hour later.
The main event began around 11:2o, I believe, as Mr. Alan Vega and Mr. Martin Rev walked through the crowd and up onto the stage. By the time they did, the room was packed, a nice surprise considering it was a Thursday night in Greenpoint and it was still pouring rain at showtime. Vega (real name: Alan Bernowitz) wore a black hooded sweatshirt and lit a cigarette about a song in. I know it'll make me sound like a fan boy, but who gives a shit? Dude is just cool personfied, all attitude, sneering, punk despite the fact that he's twice as old as anyone in the room. They opened with two classics, "Ghost Rider" and "Rocket USA," killing it with both, you would have no idea that these two dudes never really play live (I believe that I've caught their last two shows in NYC) Vega's still got that voice, that jittery, paranoid one that sucks you in and demands you listen.
To be honest, this night was all about Martin Rev, as he killed it the entire night. On the new track they introduced, Rev went off on a 4 or 5 minute Korg solo that had Vega sitting down to let the man shine. At times, the sinister shit Rev played completely overwhelmed Vega's vocals, which was a little frustrating as Suicide isn't the same without Vega's crazed Elvis-y vocals. But, honestly, I wouldn't want Rev to be lower in the mix, as that minimal ruckus he raises is perfect,
The band played for a little more than an hour, then walked off the stage and headed back to the dressing room area. They ignored the encore calls, as the lights went up after about 5 minutes. They came, kicked ass and left. I headed out and shockingly the G came for the first time ever just as I was getting to the platform. I like to think that Suicide's music scared the shit out of the MTA and forced them to hook up the exiting fans.
All of these terrible photos were taken by me with the aid of the lovely Miss LS's camera. Let me leave you with a parting shot of the machines that made it all happen. We'll have more Suicide live music coming up, some real goodies people. Yeah yeah yeah!