Black Lips At The Jubilee Music And Arts Festival, Friday June 7th 2013
On Friday night, the Black Lips closed the festivities on the Sunset stage at the Jubilee, with a rowdy set culminating in toilet paper mess and broken guitar,… so it was not a bad ending! I wanted to see for some time, and I had missed their show at the El Rey here in Los Angeles a few months ago because of some stupid workshop I had to attend, so I was happy to see the Atlanta band at last, these wild free-spirit guys playing fast, fun and damn catchy songs the way they want, just eager to make people happy.
I know their last album very well, their 2011 release ‘Arabia Mountain’, but I haven’t listened to a lot to their other releases, nevertheless, it was amazing how all their songs sounded familiar, even the new ones, that I had obviously never heard before, and they played a few of them that gonna be on their new record. It’s probably because they remind us the best of punk and pop at the same time, delivered with humor and an energy to make paper toilet rolls jump out of their holders, literally.
Like Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall and other vigorous retro outfits, they were playing with a fake sloppiness – their set was in fact very tight – and an occasional and unusual sax in the mix. They are said to have matured and have controlled their behavior on stage, and they actually showed some good manners most of the time on Friday night, it was first almost disappointing because there was no real madness going on during their shouted multi-voiced disharmonies and their joyous bouncy-surfy garage rock revivalism. There was the unavoidable mosh pit, stage rushing, crowd surfing, but people do this at any show these days, however, the lack of antics on stage made me wonder: Is this really the band that got banned from so many venues? They weren’t setting anything on fire, there was no nudity, no man kissing, no stage puking, no bloody crucifixion like in their famous video for Family Tree. Were they living up to their expectations?
Then, a bunch of girls arrived on stage and threw away lots and lots of toilet paper rolls into the crowd, which bounced them back in every direction, making garlands floating above the stage, showering the sky with this white angel soft cotonelle; it was funny and I thought that would be as punk as the show will get. But the best was saved for the end, during the distortion big final of ‘Lean (I saw a Ghost)’, Jared Swilley removed his strap, destroyed his guitar and threw the pieces into the crowd while Ian St Pé exploded a few beer cans above the front rows; you actually can watch the whole thing in the last video below. When it was over, I tried to look for these guitar pieces that the crowd had very probably snatched apart into smaller pieces, and all I saw was this layer of toilet paper mud covering the ground. Okay, so I guess the Atlanta guys had lived up to their expectation. One last thing, during the show they promoted the world premiere of their documentary about their epic Middle East Tour’ ‘Kids Like You And Me’, at Sonos Studies on Saturday. I wish I had gone, but I was still at the Jubilee, I just wonder how they feel about toilet paper debauchery in the Middle East.
Sea of Blasphemy
Not a problem
Go Out and Get it
Take my Heart
Lock n Key
Ain’t No Deal
Boyz in the Wood
Lean (I saw a ghost)