At first glance, looking at this bill it wasn’t clear if there were bands playing or if it was a symposium on cryptography. On continued scrutiny, the seemingly random jumble of letters and numbers wasn’t too hard to figure out (hint: the ‘9’ is an ‘R’) and a youthful, energetic crowd was comfortably filling the venue before the music started. It wasn’t clear if there were any particular bands that drew specific segments of the audience, as all three went over very well. Street Sects started out, the duo playing some sinister electronic music that veered near the power electronics edge at times, and the flashing sirens and police lights in front of Shaun Ringsmuth’s setup lent a slightly authoritarian bent to the performance. The blinding strobes behind singer Leo Ashline was disorienting, and brandishing a chainsaw in his Warhol wig didn’t help dispel any sorts of unease. Rat Jacket is their just-released 12″ and it’s a pretty solid listen.
Ho99o9 (aka Horror, now that we’ve got the secret decoder ring) was up next, and featured a pair of brothers who go by the noms de stage of theOGM and Eaddy. Some bands wear their influences on their sleeves, but not theOGM. He wore them on his pants and his chest. A vintage DMX shirt and painted logos of MDC and Bad Brains adorned his trouser legs, so their volatile mix of hip-hop and hardcore wasn’t too surprising. The addition of a live drummer really added some oomph, and Eaddy got the tone of their set going right from the start, by barrel-rolling off the stage and right into the writhing throng on the floor. It seemed like he would spend more time in the air than touching the stage, and at one point he jumped up from the stage, grabbed the structural iron beam that runs across the top of the stage and clambered up onto it, peering down from his aerie until he decided to descend, into the crowd once again. An unfortunate side effect was the boot to the head that the woman next to me received, but theOGM noticed the incidental damage his brother dealt out and made sure that she was OK. “Gimme Gimme Gimme” was the lead-in to their final song, and if Keith Morris ever decided to dip his toes into hip-hop, he’d be wise to study up on Ho99o9.
3Teeth swung the pendulum far into the late 80s Wax Trax! scene, and their muscular, techno-fueled sound was leavened with a healthy dose of humor. Leader Alexis Mincolla looks like a tornado took Maynard James Keenan through a time warp and turned him into Freddie Mercury with a handful of stops at tattoo shops along the way. Tool is known for their predilection of taking relatively unknown bands out on the road as support, and 3Teeth was a worthy recipient of that tap on the shoulder. Bracing, corrosive industrial beats that could squeeze into the space between Throbbing Gristle and Ministry, the five piece electrified the crowd while showing a very human side as well (Alexis’ mom was up front and was doted upon with loving words from her son). Definitely one of the most entertaining triple bills I’ve seen in a while.
Photos of all three bands here:
Created with flickr slideshow.