The Black Lips’ show at the El Rey last night was defined mostly by the band’s constant criticism of the usually barricade-less venue putting up a barrier between fans and the stage. The band members vocalized their discontent with the venue’s choice from the start and then really began to have it out with security when bouncers grabbed and carried away a girl who had made it onto the stage and mooned the audience with her magic-marker-made “Black Lips” buttocks banner. Although the entire band seemed annoyed, lead guitarist Ian St. Pe repeatedly made angry gestures toward the venue security and apologized profusely to the crowd.
Although security was probably a little heavy-handed, it was a very rambunctious show. As soon as the curtain rose, audience members began throwing beers at each other, moshing, crowd surfing and rushing the stage. At one point guitarist Cole Alexander lobbed a full Coors Light can into the audience, and as an afterthought added, “If you’re under 21, don’t drink it.” Then about three-quarters of the way into the band’s set, roadies began tossing toilet paper rolls into the audience, TPing the El Rey.
For the encore Black Lips first played a brand-new song, “Wild Boys In The Woods,” saying how they had not played it yet and that the crowd was going to be the guinea pig. The 3/4 time signature was not the easiest rhythm to mosh to, but it was still an instant hit with this focus group. The second song of the encore and final song of the night was “Bow Down And Die,” a tune from the Almighty Defenders, a Black Lips side project with the King Khan And BBQ Show.
Although Black Lips definitely put on a show to remember, one would be remiss not to mention Night Beats’ stellar opening set. Although only 30 minutes long, the band’s performance revved up crowd members whether or not they’d ever even heard of the Seattle-based psychedelic punk band.
All photos by Annie Lesser