I actually still felt rather exhausted after yesterday’s great if not too much attended Between The Buried And Me show at the same venue, but after my dentist spent about twenty minutes – which felt more like an eternity – drilling around on a tooth, leaving me under the impression as if I was drowning on my own saliva, I decided that I should treat myself with something good afterwards.
Suicidal Tendencies already played at the Kulturfabrik many years ago. Back then I missed them although I can’t recall why, so this was a good opportunity to finally see this Californian cult band on a live stage.
I didn’t go too early, because the opening band didn’t sound too promising after checking out their Myspace page. To be honest, French duo The Inspector Cluzo is not really bad, but when you are in the mood for one of the bands that formed your musical identity more than two decades ago, you don’t really want to discover anything new. When I arrived shortly after 9pm, they must have been in the early stages of their gig. Consisting of a guitarist/singer and a drummer, they looked like all male White Stripes paying tribute to AC/DC. And it’s no coincidence that their chosen artist names are Phil and Malcolm. This was good enough to warm you up, but somehow it was even warmer outside, so that many chose to relish the unusually early summer night.
Shortly after 10pm, the legendary Suicidal Tendencies entered the stage. It was a bit of a letdown to see that this fantastic band which released a number of cult albums in their early years only attracted between 400 and 500 spectators, but the five musicians didn’t seem to care when they started with an early hit. Was it “War Inside My Head” or was that one played later? My memory must be riddled with holes after all the headbanging. Their upcoming album is not out yet, the last one with new material lies already a few years in the past, so that one could expect them to offer mostly their classic tunes, which they did. Although the opener was followed by a solo from the bassist whose instrument came with six strings. Impressive, although more fitting for a Stanley Clarke tribute evening than for a hardcore punk show! Although some band members were quite active on stage, it was of course Mike Muir, three years short of celebrating half a century of being alive, who impressed the most with his incessant running around on stage and still delivering a great vocal performance. Later on, the rather heavy looking drummer also played a sweet solo, probably wanting to impersonate Billy Cobham. There were hits aplenty: “Subliminal”, “I Saw Your Mommy”, “Send Me Your Money”, “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow” and of course their über-classic “Possessed To Skate”. The moshpit started already at the beginning of the second song, and it was cool to see that the geriatric punk faction still likes to move and kick around if the soundtrack is right.
After one hour, their regular set was over, and I decided to head home, because I am not as young as I was when I first heard Suicidal Tendencies over two decades ago, and energetic concert nights on Monday and Tuesday leave their toll after a while. By the way, it seems that Suicidal Tendencies currently consist of more or less the same line-up than Mike Muir’s other band Infectious Grooves. Rocky George has left already over ten years ago, I saw him already twice live with Fishbone. But that doesn’t mean that the Californians are not worth their money anymore. They did tonight what their fans came to see, and that’s a great attitude for a band that has been around for thirty years. Let’s hope that Suicidal Tendencies will stay around for many years more!