25 years and they still kick harder than anyone. This was one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen. Nearly two hours of blistering sound, with three encores. I’m so deaf that I’m sure my ears will ring for days. What an amazing night. It’s late, I shouldn’t be doing this, but I had to at least document the wow factor while it was still fresh.
Oh, what the Hell.
I first saw Killing Joke perform live 12 years ago. It was the first time I’d ever seen a band in a small venue (for those of you from around Toronto, it was at RPM). I was thrilled to be going because it was a licensed show and it was 3 days after my 19th birthday – March 4, 1991. They flattened me that night. It was the “Extremeties, Dirt, and Various Repressed Emotions” tour. Martin Atkins on drums and Paul Raven on bass. They were tight. And loud. And absolutely electrifying. I saw them again a few years later at the Phoenix when they toured for “Pandemonium”. That time Youth was on bass but the drummer – gah. He thought he could make up for being bad by being loud. Jaz kept turning around to yell at him for screwing up. I don’t know who the tour bassist or drummer were tonight, but they were great. The drummer, in particular, was spectacular. They played “Follow the Leaders”, and he played it perfectly. Jaz was riveting. He came out in full face paint and was all wild eyed stares and throaty yells and coughs. The crowd was terrific too – fans ranging from 19 all the way to their 40s and 50s came out. And they screamed along on cue, too. I’ll hear the crowd screaming “ASTEROOOOOOOOOID!” in my head for years, I’m sure. I haven’t had this much fun at a concert since, well, I guess that first Killing Joke show, all those years ago. Skinny Puppy’s “Last Rites” tour comes damn close, but Killing Joke was the first experience of its kind, and it’s hard to live up to a memory like that.
On a lighter note, I’ll say one last thing: if Geordie Walker, who’s the epitome of cool to me, can lose his hair I guess I don’t mind losing mine so much.