The ill-prepared journalist in me (it gets out sometimes) went to The Black Lips show last night at The Rhythm Room. To be honest, I didn’t think to take photos (my DSLR is too cumbersome for roudy shows) or mental notes (those would have been knocked out of my head, in a literal sense, by the pushing and shoving) for the purpose of a review, but here’s an attempt.
When my friend and I arrived, we were approached by a middle-aged man. He exuded the aura of a scalper but surprised us both when he asked, “Do you have an extra ticket?” See, the show was sold out. The Rhythm Room isn’t the largest venue in Phoenix, but I’m pleased when any venue sells out (as long as I have my ticket). It gives me hope that the band will make a genuine effort to return during future tours. Black Lips, please come back soon.
If you weren’t in attendance, here’s what you missed:
- Alcohol and drugs. I’m 99 percent positive that the opening band, Cerebral Ballzy, was under the heavy influence of both. The 21+ side of the room were obviously enjoying their poison and by the time The Black Lips got on stage, cups, bottles and cans were flying across the room. Some empty, some full. First, I was doused in ACE cider. I know this because I could smell it in my hair and clothes after it dried. Then, I was hit with PBR. I saw the can continue across the room after dropping its load. After the cider and beer, I was occasionally sprinkled with droplets of unidentifiable liquids.
- Crowding surfing, duh. Some surfers were hoisted into the air. Others opted for running on stage and jumping into the crowd. The majority of the surfers did well, but the ceiling fan situated in the center of the venue was a force to be reckoned with. I remember spotting my friend surfing in the crowd. I smiled at his obvious enjoyment and then frowned with the realization that he was heading towards the fan. I turned away. I didn’t want to feel the secondhand embarrassment or worse, witness a blood bath. He survived and so did the others. I suppose the ceiling fan was only a minor threat.
- Fog machines. There were fog machines!
- Wild fans. The crowd went haywire when the band played “Bad Kids.” How fitting. Shawn of Electric Mustache captured the moment in a video and I have to pass it on. Can you spot me in the front row having the time of my life?
- A “WHAT-IN-THE-WORLD” moment courtesy of two girls, in the under-21 section of the venue, wearing unbuttoned shirts that revealed their bras or bathing suit tops. They were so obviously trying to get the attention of the band members and it worked. I’m pretty sure I spotted Cole copping a feel or two or three and giving them the attention they so desperately desired. As if that wasn’t enough, when the band left the stage, the two girls replaced them and did a weird assortment of dances to the glee of some and dismay of others.
- Kisses. Black Lips have been known to make out with each other on stage and at last night’s show, Ian Saint Pé and Cole Alexander went at it. A bonus kiss involved me and came unexpectedly when Ian bent down and kissed me on the cheek during a song. It was sweaty, but I savored it. So much love.
- Song from a side project. Ian asked if the audience was familiar with The Almighty Defenders. Familiar with the power group that consists of members from the Black Lips and The King Khan & BBQ Show? Of course. The audience answered with swinging arms and loud cheers. And with that, the Black Lips delivered “Bow Down and Die.” Pure entertainment.
- Encore. The crowd didn’t have to ask. We didn’t clap for five minutes in hopes that the band would return. We didn’t chant their name in unison. Oh no. Before we could even process that they had left and the show was over, they were back on stage, playing more.
- Party time. The band showed interest in partying with fans after the show and a little birdie told me that an after party took place at a warehouse later that night.