Last Thursday, The Black Lips played The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto with The King Khan and BBQ Show. After a quick sound check and five minutes to change, The King Khan and BBQ strolled onto the stage in black leather hot pants, gold capes, blond wigs, black leather masks and not much else. The only real difference in their costumes was what I can only describe as a nipple sweater that BBQ wore. The duo proceeded to play a non-stop stream of sexy rock and roll that only paused briefly while they yelled at some fans who were doing something that kind of resembled that game where people get on each others’ shoulders and wrestle until someone ends up falling off. Except they weren’t in a pool, they were in a mosh pit. The band pointed out that rock music was about love and sexiness and not about being a violent asshole and then the music started again hard and fast. The crowd went crazy,reaching towards King Khans guitar (or possibly the bulge in his hot pants) and didn’t stop the entire set.
Another quick sound check and the Black Lips walked onto stage and in a haze of smoke and dazzling lights started their set. Then what I can only describe as total chaos burst out in the crowd. The floor was shaking to the point where it felt like it was going to collapse under the weight of dancing feet. Beer and sweat covered everything within a minute. The band matched the crowd in energy and in alcohol consumption, playing an amazing, almost non-stop (there were pauses for drink breaks) set while the crowd tore at each other singing along with every song. It was difficult to know what song was playing at the front of the stage everything was in such a frenzy, between dancing and dodging the constant flailing limbs of stage divers it was almost impossible to keep track. It got to the point where the photographer who I went with to cover the event left the front for fear of someone accidentally smashing his gear. The last few songs were a fantastic sweaty mess, the crowd losing what was left of their collective shit. They swarmed, pushed, threw beer cans and at one point a random man bounced out of the pit and licked my neck. I have been trying to think of why a stranger would do that. I decided it must have been an attempt to weird me out so he could get my spot right up front. My answer to that is “Too bad random sweaty guy I think I’ve won this round… I think.”. All in all this had everything that makes an event fun including a packed house, great rock and roll and that slight edge of danger that just makes everything a little more exciting.
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Review by Tristan Johnston