That would be the band, not the act of – Legendary duo Suicide (study up about ’em on Wikipedia if ya need to) played a 45-minute set on Friday night at, of all places, South Street Seaport, New York.
A fittingly surrealistic location for some crazy brilliant shit.
most of whom probably weren’t even semen when Suicide’s seminal 1977 album appeared, was treated to a sweet dj set from
Richard Fearless of Death in Vegas
[Note: Some of the crowd was old. However, looking like the tattoo on your forearm is not gonna get you the young chicks, dude)
Then hyperactive skinny boy rockers Deathset (Ooh, so cute! Call me Mrs. Robinson. Umm, actually, no, don’t.)
got onstage and with all the jerky moves perfected in basements, flailed about with gorgeous abandon, wailing on guitars and shouting immortal lyrics such as:
“Tape deck, select,
Burning wreck, broken neck,
Dirty speck, bitches wet,
In your eye, weapons fly,
Don’t even try to feel our size,
Wonder why the people cry
The motherf—in’ DeathSet!”
They charmed the crowd, me included. Also, they played 16 songs in 17 minutes, eliciting most excellent memories of the Minutemen and the Replacements. A fine mosh pit formed, marred only by a balding old man who pushed his way in and pogo’ed. We think he used to be in a band himself, but he only confused everyone around him.
By the time Suicide stalked on stage, the crowd was amped.
Then thoroughly confused, as singer Alan Vega most closely resembled that scary old decrepit guy at the bodega who looks like a “Just Say No” example. He stalked about the stage, stiff-legged, skinny-armed, staring slightly aimlessly– and was actually quite sweet. His interstitial banter was all about “the pain of those poor boys and girls. . I hate the fucking war! They can’t even take care of our boys and girls. . . ”
His performance was fantastic. They were regularly booed off the stage in the 70s, Vega snarling his rhythymless lyrics like Beat poetry over Martin Rev’s relentless wall of synthbeats and repetitive phrases emerging from a feedback-drenched echo. [Note to self: buy those ski goggles for this season.]
The sinister carnivalesque doo-wop of “Cherie Cherie,” the heartbreaking “Frankie Teardrop,” and “Dream Baby Dream” all were jaw-droppingly powerful. They weren’t booed off the stage here.
Vega didn’t look too good, tho’. At one point he held up an unlit cigarette, but the clueless clean-living teens below never offered him a light. He staggered Frankenstein-legged in a perfect quadrant around the stage perimeter, searching his pockets for a Bic. When he finally found one he held it aloft in triumph. It didn’t work in the breeze off the East River.
Finally he got his cigarette lit and wandered off stage. Martin Rev gave one more Phantom of the Opera flourish on the synth and left. The crowd probably realized that what they had seen was neither goth nor pop punk nor anything else they were familiar with and left, too. Maybe a little wiser as to what that 1970s punk shit was all about.
ps: what the hell were they doing there? No one really knows. They were a late addition to the schedule. their current visibility is due in part to Springsteen (@$!) including “Dream Baby Dream” in some recent encores. Go figure.