We should have known when the t-shirt guy told us, "You better give us a good review," that we were in for a long night. My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult along with Eve's Plumb and Big Stick was a tiny bit of pre-Halloween spook fest. A few fans came dressed like extras from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, others just stuck to all-black and a bit of eye make-up. There was something special about rave dance parties five years ago. Thumping, relentless and ultimately background music for the scene that promised to be the next sexual revolution. Something went wrong between then and now, making this big event about as sexy as an unlubricated condom.
Opening the whole shindig was a band called Big Stick. A large man playing guitar with a huge buffalo-like headpiece on his head, a woman wearing a plastic dress occasionally hitting a drum set (but mostly using a drum machine) and spouting sexual come-ons in a boring monotone, plus a go-go dancer/stripper. The audience at the base of the stage (mostly male) loved the dancer (who waved around fire batons near the end wearing only a g-string) who pulled a pre-selected leather-bound male from the audience, tied him to a chair and whipped him. The music, which accompanied the stripper show, seemed to say that S & M is boring...and so is this music.
Eve's Plum ran through their set, sometimes wondering out loud what they were doing on a bill heavy on the electronic dance beat. A semi-grunge band reminiscent of Velocity Girl, Eve's Plum plays catchy alterna-pop songs that were ultimately the most enjoyable songs of the night. The lead singer looked like Trixie from Speed Racer with dyed orange-red hair, and the rest of band resembled Weezer cast-outs. Smirking through songs like "Jesus Loves You (But Not As Much As I Do)" and "Blue," the band was impressive.
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult has been around this type of scene for a while. On this night, however, they resorted to cheap theatrics (serving martinis to the vocalists on "A Martini Built For 2") and pseudo-casual sex innuendo. When the band members weren't singing or playing they would stroll up to another member and massage parts of their body. With lyrics that amuse rather than arouse, the stage show seemed like a cheesy Vegas strip show...without the strip. Rather than using the music as a natural dance beat, much of the audience resorted to mosh pit violence to kill the disco-like atmosphere of the event. Using pumped up forearms, many strolled around the ever-widening pit to knock down whoever was in their way. It was like a football game with no referees. The Kult's new music direction into violent and pseudo-devilish themes (apparently taking a cue from White Zombie's astonishing success) seemed to push the moshers on. What happened to the raves of yesteryear? Someone thought violence was the way to have a good time.
The whole show was pre-programmed. When the Thrill Kill Kult asked for requests, so many different screams for songs were heard it was impossible to pick from them, but much of the audience was overjoyed even though they were basically victims of the con. The song was already pre-chosen. The event whipped them up in that tribal-techno vamp style, but it was all just a goof. The spinning lights had more substance. It was more like a lame leather apparel display than a musical show. If this is a revolution, we need some new revolutionaries.