Glad for y'all who went to the Specials, but I was happy to see a decent and enthusiastic turnout for the Death show last night. Not many observations, but:
1. I haven't seen any band lately have quite as much fun onstage as Death. They played like they were living out their wildest dreams of arena success - which was just slightly incongruous in a venue the size of the Rickshaw, but really enjoyable to see. You can tell these guys are still digging their late career turnaround - this was play, not work, I suspect (though they probably have to work pretty hard to be able to play this way).
2. They did their Beatles ripoff! Erika and I speculated at some length about how much Drag City mighta had to pay to get away with releasing that.
3. While it is great that they did (I believe) every song off ...For the Whole World to See, they could have played more stuff off N.E.W. (that I noticed, they only did "Playtime," which Bobby dedicated to skateboarders. I can see it as a skating tune!)
4. I haven't seen a drum solo live in awhile - can't remember the last one, actually. Dannis still has the chops.
5. Bobbie Duncan did great work filling in for David, but "Politicians in My Eyes" really benefits from having an added guitar part, absent onstage.
6. Bobby Hackney wore some pretty revealing tights. Not sure he realizes the full effect of that! It's odd how eye-grabbing that was... I didn't WANT to look, but...
7. The moshpit was more enthusiastic than I anticipated! I kept getting slammed into the front barrier, almost getting winded, so I eventually moved back. Moshing didn't exist, I don't think, when Death formed, but their music suits it very well, turns out. (Some evidence on video here).
8. It was nice that they gave a nod to the 4th Movement, playing a lick of "Revelation's Eve," but I would have taken the whole song! It segued into something I didn't know at all. I was happy to buy the vinyl at the end of the night.
9. They had two new 7 inches. The gun control one ("Cease Fire") had a kind of reggae influence, a slower tempo, and lyrics that seemed a bit on-the-nose; I liked the second one - I think about global warming - better, but I didn't get the title.
10. Death was really generous with their fans and hung out signing things at the merch table for quite awhile, it seemed (I gave them the New Creation CDs I'd brought - I did drag Chris Towers to the show - and left, but they were still signing and chatting).
Oh, and WarBaby was a lot of fun, too, playing an Infra-Man movie behind them on a screen as they performed. Monster fights and WarBaby go together really well! My wife remarked on how enthusiastic Kirby seemed on the kit, and I was pleased to get to introduce them afterwards...
Anyhow, thanks to Mo Tarmohamed for putting on such stellar shows. (By the way, someone thought I was dissing Mo for selecting WarBaby as the opener in my Straight piece with them, but I wasn't - I thought it was a totally inspired move).