"Thanks for coming to the reenactment," joked David Yow, frontman of returning noise-punk heroes Scratch Acid on Friday night towards the end of the band's hour-long set at Fitzgerald's. The band played most every song they knew together, with Yow in pitch-perfect crazed Harvey Keitel mode, launching into the pit up front at least every few minutes, cowboy boots and all. A perfect Texas gentleman.
It was enough to make us miss frontmen, the kind cut from Yow's cloth in the mid-'80s, when lead singers antagonized their audiences, weren't afraid of full-contact performances, and from Berserker's "Mary Had A Little Drug Problem On" on, Yow lorded over the first seven feet of the Fitz floor like Reverend Jim Jones at a tent revival in Guyana.
With David Wm. Sims and Brett Bradford up front, stoic as statues, and drummer Rey Washam behind the madness, this didn't feel like a reenactment as much as a band returning nearly three decades of love back to a devoted fan following with a sweaty hug.
If you had your ears open Friday night, you could traces of X, The Birthday Party, and the Cramps in the Acid stew. The band was always called Texas' answer to Nick Caves' Birthday Party in their heyday and by critics doing postmortem analysis.
The pre-encore double-shot of fan faves "Greatest Gift" and "She Said" was harrowing, flying by way too quickly to adequately soak in, but long enough to praise and worship.
With Acid afterbirth the Jesus Lizard now officially put to bed for now, Acid is the only way to see Yow and company for the near future. Here's hoping for more shows, because even 51, Yow is one of the best living documents of how a frontman is meant to act, even if he thinks he's doing a shitty job.
Personal Bias: Our first expereicne with Yow was a Jesus Lizard video on Beavis & Butt-head in the '90s. We've been working our way back to Acid ever since.
The Crowd: Older people who saw Lizard or Acid in their heydays, up to the younger set that hangs on every word of Acid's debut EP.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I want David Yow to kick me in the face."
Random Notebook Dump: I'm sorry that I missed openers Black Congress. I enjoy them very much. I once wore their shirt, the one with the upside down cross and the fist, with the sleeves cut off, to an air show in Clear Lake with my parents and I was a big hit.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.