Concert Review: Black Lips @ Bowery Ballroom (7/29/11)

 DJ Christopher Roberts, Night Beats, Black Lips
Venue: Bowery Ballroom, New York City
Date: Friday, July 29, 2011

DJ Christopher Roberts: I thought this was the Black Lips manager. Stupid mistake, this guy is actually a Vice Records guy. I recognized him from an interview he did with Nobunny. Anyway, I must say, the music that he played was excellent. A little Dirtbombs, some Carbonas, some rock n roll oldies, and maybe even a little Mark Sultan. Great non-traditional warm-up to bands.

Night Beats: I thought these guys were some random band. They actually messaged me a while back about a potential collaboration. I overlooked it, but I maybe I shouldn’t have. Their psychedelic guitar-heavy set was powerful. They were complex and heavy…like a much more powerful Fugazi or something. This energy culminated when Ian St. Pe hopped on guitar. He brought his distinct style to the group’s finale, which was of epic proportions. Band members stage diving, broken bottles being smashed and used as slide guitar items, and a general craziness that was transmitted to the audience. It was like the Black Lips ending on “Juvenile,” except it was the Night Beats.

Black Lips: I’ve seen Black Lips plenty of times and have reviewed their performances. For all the introductory bullshit that is needed for a Black Lips concert review 101 class, please check out my other show reviews. Getting to this show, it was the best of them. I’ve said that six times before and that’s because the band keeps topping itself. The first time was characterized by this odd euphoric feeling. It was the best I had ever seen by far. This time was almost no different in that exact feeling. I get that feeling everytime. It’s usually a point in the show where I show stop paying attention to the music, turn around and look at the audience, and then say to myself, damn this is why these guys are the shit. It’s only a moment of disconnect, but I find myself instantly drawn back into the performance. Pure raw rock n roll that’s not pure by any mean. Anything can happen. The band always says it. They aren’t puppets and they don’t script their shows. Nudity-flamethrowing-electric toys…this is all bullshit. Has it happened? Sure. Will it again, we don’t know. Neither do the lips. They didn’t play their best set of songs on this Friday night. What was the best part of the early part of the show was the addition of a saxophone player for the first two numbers: “Sea of Blasphemy” and “Family Tree”. This was sensational. That guy is a keeper and added something entirely new to the songs that we’ve never heard in a live setting. What stood out more in this show was audience participation. Everyone was screaming off the top of their lungs and bonds were made while the band was still playing. Where else besides a sports game do you see people high fiving each other after a superb play (song)? It makes me long for the next Black Lips show. I’ll have to wait, though. I’m still happy from the effect of this show. I remember it was around this time one week ago that I sat down at the Queens Motor Inn after a semi-exhausting drive from Boston and said damn, this is going to a great day. And it was, of course. The show capped off another fun-filled trip to New York.

Grade: A+

Set List Suckas!:
Sea of Blasphemy- Let It Bloom (2005)
Family Tree- Arabia Mountain (2011)
Not a Problem- LIB
Dirty Hands- LIB
O Katrina!- Good Bad Not Evil (2007)
Make It- Non LP track
Hippie Hippie Hoorah- LIB
Modern Art- AM
Ghetto Cross- We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow (2004)
New Direction- AM
Lock and Key- GBNE
Go Out and Get It- AM
Boomerang- LIB
Dumpster Dive- AM
Fairy Stories- LIB
Bad Kids- GBNE
Bow Down and Die (Almighty Defenders)
Too Much Monkey Business (Chuck Berry)


Footage of “Family Tree”!

One thought on “Concert Review: Black Lips @ Bowery Ballroom (7/29/11)”

  1. Awww! I was so expecting a report of disillusionment, about how the masks fell of the Black Lips and they were revealed as cynical people who hate their audiences and who cheated them. That I didn’t read such a thing was so unexpected, how could such a thing happen?

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