You know it’s going to be a wild night when there’s a mosh barrier at The Gov, and of course crossover thrash/skate punk outfit Suicidal Tendencies didn’t disappoint in what was an unrelenting barrage of Californian hardcore.
Local supports The Lizards, and Melbourne punk outfit Wolf Pack set the pace early, both equally impressive with their tight, hard, and fast sets that didn’t lack in the turbo-charge department. I’d go to see both these bands again, but it was fortunate that they were supporting ST this night.
Arriving on stage to a raucous noise, Suicidal Tendencies wasted no time in bringing the noise and kicked off with You Can’t Bring Me Down. Lead singer Mike ‘Cyko Miko’ Muir was bursting with energy as he leapt about on stage throwing out his lyrics to the deafening wall of sound that is his band. The crowd was an eclectic mix of bald or grey-haired older fans, with the odd blue bandana thrown in as a nod to the band’s trademark colours, and some younger punks who went hard in the moshpit from start to finish. If you’ve never experienced a hardcore gig like this, you’d think that someone is bound to get hurt in all that body slamming, pushing and shoving, but ‘slam dancing’ rarely ends up violently, with all aggression and energy being expelled on the dance floor. The band even managed to get a ‘circle pit’, (or ‘circle of death’ as I call it) going- a California punk thing where everybody goes round in a circle thrashing randomly. It looks dangerous, but is loads of fun. Nonetheless, fellow slammers continually stop to help those fallen back up and into the action again. Subliminally & I Saw Your Mommy were particular crowd faves, sending the hardcore into a frenzy of arms and legs.
Muir’s stage antics are frantic and amazingly energetic for a guy in his mid 50’s. He’s a great storyteller not only within his music, but as he relates stories about his life to the audience and particularly his love for Australia, where he lived for several years. He’s a smart guy, and takes no shit from anybody- particularly society. His message has always been one of authenticity and ‘being the you that you want to be, not who society or people say you should.’ Thats the punk ethos that he’s lived by, and nobody’s telling him any different. He’s never asked for much in life, heck, at one stage all he ever wanted was a Pepsi!
Overall, the current lineup of Muir, Dean Pleasants (lead guitar), Jeff Pogan (rhythm guitar), Ra Díaz (bass), and none other than Slayer co-founder Dave Lombardo (drums), give great service to the songs of Suicidal Tendencies. They’re loud, harsh, and come in with all six guns blazing from start to finish in a gig that rips your face off. Playing songs from their early 80’s days to present but strangely omitting the cult classic Institutionalized, they proved that they’re Still Cyco After All These Years.
They are playing the final Aussie show in Perth tonight, so don’t miss them.
By Dazz Hassan
Pics Lisa Vincent