B L A C K I E Warehouse Live April 7, 2011
Well it wasn't quite 3-D, because real life itself is already four dimensional (props, Jim), but nonetheless, last night's experimental B L A C K I E gig in the studio space at Warehouse Live was eye-popping as hell.
The show, opening with the Screamers-esque punk trio the Funboys, the electrical heat of Cosmic Sound, and the goddamned superstar known as Fat Tony wasn't as packed as it should have been, but the crowd huddled up against the large rigging of lights and light toys, donning prismatic and 3-D glasses to have their perceptions wrecked for a few hours.
If you came in when Fat Tony started and sat in the middle of the room, you would occasional see him peer out from the arch of lights, in his SCUD missile sweatshirt, to kiss the crowd. Every time we see him play, we feel like we are getting this super secret performance that no one knows about, because he's opening for most every major hip-hop act that comes through Houston. Now if that elfin Lil' Wayne will just throw him on that April 16 Toyota Center show instead of Travis Barker and Mix Master Mike...
B L A C K I E's set was a more visceral and tribal one than we have seen in a few years, since we at least we first saw the guy downstairs at the Mink during a festival. Blame the prisms in our eyes, the slow-motion pit in front of him, or even the new, uber-industrial beats he's playing with now. Seriously, it sounds like local crew //TENSE// or Psalm 69-era Ministry made sweet love to his drum machine. And we like it a lot.
More precisely, go on YouTube and seek out later period Black Flag videos, when Henry Rollins had really long hair, like Robert Plant, for an adequate idea of what new B L A C K I E shows are like. You will notice at once that sometimes slow is harder than fast, and anger and rage is scarier in slow-motion.
The favorite moment for us was feeling the heat off the crowd, all hair and arms and teeth, giving off audible heat, enough to at least fog up our prismatic glasses. For a guy who has been inside gigantic arenas and sheds as of late slogging out live reviews, it was more than welcomed to feel human warmth coming off a crowd.
Personal Bias: Really into smoke, lights, and cheap mental highs from both said items.
The Crowd: Buncha long-hairs.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Swag doesn't exist here. Only rage."
Random Notebook Dump: See above.