I lied! More crappy live pix.
In the last week or so I've caught Annie, Black Dahlia Murder, Electric Six, the Faint and Gang Of Four (Jon King is smashing a microwave up there). That's just the headliners. The novelty of having so much quality live entertainment available to me hasn't worn off yet.
While VH1 Classic Presents Gang Of Four (oh, the irony) were terrific, opening act Morningwood, who play the kind of female-led major label new wave my roommate is nuts for - they should be named Debbie & The Dogmats or Lisa & The Ladykillers or Pylon Doing A Bad Imitation Of The Divinyls or something - almost upstaged them with psychotic demands for audience enthusiasm. Their forced retro-shtick and weak hooks couldn't have inspired the crowd to Clap If They Love Cookies, let alone take their clothes off and DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! as the unhinged singer so desired. A few unfortunate members of the crowd were brought on stage to bop nervously, get punched in the chest and be forced to make out with a plastic Santa. Gang Of Four was referenced frequently, lest we ran for safety. I spent most of the set hiding behind a wall, muttering for the band to please, please go away. I don't like to exaggerate, but this was Abu Gharib squared.
An album by some AC/DC cover band (that was not the voice of Bon Scott. I would know, trust me) was played between acts, and I had to wonder if they were intentionally recreating the early 80s marketplace so we could experience Go4 as the sweet relief they must have been at the time. While there's no way to revive the promise and potential of a group who's future has yet to be written, you can reaffirm what was accomplished and celebrate it. The words still sting, the guitar still slices and the rhythm section still makes it all look deceptively easy. I'd guess they were better then, but I know they're great now.