Hell at the Hall: Black Lips, Davila 666, X-Ray Eyeballs @ Webster Hall (10/29/11)

Artists: Black Lips, Davila 666, and Xray Eyeballs
Date: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Venue: Webster Hall (NYC)
Act I: X Ray Eyeballs: X Ray Eyeballs are a pretty sweet band. I sadly know very little of their material, so I am not totally wrapped up in their performance, but it sets the stage for the next two acts very well. I definitely plan on checking out their work in the future; I see their name pop up all the time now, it seems.

Act II: Davila 666: I have been anticipating seeing these cats for quite some time. I am a casual fan of Davila and like most other fans, I think the energy and rarely matched enthusiasm they bring to the table is probably their greatest feature. In general, they have the whole “garage rock” style down to a tee. It’s just really fun, balls out rock and roll. In particular, the crowd goes wild when they blast into “Patitas,” a favorite of mine as well. The whole performance is solid, every member gives it their all, which is exactly why they are one of the finest live acts around, for sure.

Act III: Black Lips!!!: As you all may or may not know, we are devout Lips fans and making the bi-annual trip from Boston to New York to see our favorite band is a requirement of such excessive fandom. Lips have been my number one live act for a few years now and this night is no exception. The boys in blue hit the stage, decked out in their “Raw Meat” video tinged NYPD uniforms. Per usual they erupt into the classic (and my favorite) “Sea of Blasphemy.” It never gets old! Five Lips shows deep, which I am sure to some is nothing, I can safely say “Sea of Blasphemy” should always be their opener. The crowd simulates the excitement on stage and my composure and sense of right and wrong is suspended for the next hour. Between Cole’s proclamations of DMT Parties and threats of hauling all the dope smokin’ kids off to jail, he busts out one of his best performances, spitting, kissing, and beer can headbutting in all. Jared mans the center of the stage, looking like the classic frontman (though I have never thought of any of them specificially as frontmen, just to note). His vocals on relatively new live cuts, such as “New Direction,” and “Noc-a-Homa,” sound better than ever. To the right of Jared, Ian stands proudly, dishing out all the classic Lips riffs, with that ubiquitous smile he always maintains, kind of like your crazy uncle. In the back, but always on top is Joe, bashing away at the drums with the spirit of a six year old. Joe’s vocal driven songs constantly seem to garner the greatest crowd reactions. Arabia Mountain cut, “Go Out and Get It,” is arugably their most danceable tune and appears to get that extra umph outta everyone, especially the ladies. And naturally, “Bad Kids,” the band’s biggest song makes the kids go wild more than the other songs. In general, this show focuses on their latest record Arabia more than any other Lips performance I have attended. In total, we see/hear seven songs from Arabia, which is more than any other album. This is unusual for the Lips, since their standard is playing mostly Let It Bloom (2005) songs (if you had to name one record that dominated their set lists). With that being said, this does not really affect the overall performance too much and I am actually happy to see more new songs being performed. But, a Lips fan of any and all eras (such as myself) can find plenty to admire. The group even harks back to oldies like “Stone Cold.” Of course, Halloween being the theme, the quartet unleashes some garage soaked horror classics such as “Jack the Ripper,” (though they play this off-season as well). “Wildman,” by The Tamrons is another cover I have never seen them perform live and have waited to see for a while now. One of my qualms about this show, however, is the sound quality. It is not terrible, but it could be much better. Things like that fortunately do not interfere too much with the charisma of a Black Lips show. Not the best I have seen, but definitely up there, one for the books.

Grade: 9/10

Set List (in order by album):

Black Lips (2003):
“Stone Cold”

Let It Bloom (2005):
“Sea of Blasphemy”
“Hippie Hippie Hoorah”
“Fairy Stories”
“Dirty Hands”

Good Bad, Not Evil (2007):
“O Katrina”
“Bad Kids”

Arabia Mountain (2011):
“Family Tree”
“Modern Art”
“Go Out and Get It”
“Raw Meat”
“Dumpster Dive”
“New Direction”

Non Album/Cover Songs:
“Make It”
“Wild Man” (The Tamrons)
“Jack the Ripper” (Pierced Arrows)
“Bow Down and Die” (The Almighty Defenders)
“Too Much Monkey Business” (Chuck Berry)

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