Lords of Acid “Pretty in Kink” tour review - Flint, MI [3/9/19]
The last US tour by Lords of Acid in the Fall of 2017 included a stop in Detroit at St. Andrews Hall, which was unquestionably one of the best Industrial/Electronic type shows I’ve ever witnessed. The tour was meant as a sort of appetizer to the release of the band’s 2018 full-length album “Pretty in Kink,” which was the result of a successful crowdfunding campaign. It ended up being my favorite album released that year.
I even wrote a review of it for the Western Herald, stressing that it was not only the Industrial album of the year, but Electronic album of the year overall, and that the band was still “creating sexy, drug-infused rave music unparalleled by their contemporaries.”
Despite the fact that the show was a blast, it was missing LOA mastermind Praga Khan behind the decks, who had to miss several dates due to an ear infection preventing him from boarding a plane. It didn’t faze me at all - like the band said, the show must go on.
So imagine my excitement when the Lords announced another full-length US tour for Spring 2019. This tour would be very important for two reasons: first, the first US tour since the release of Pretty in Kink almost a year prior. Second, the live US debut of new Lords of Acid vocalist Marieke “Little Bloody Marie” Bresseleers, whose talent as a vocalist simply cannot be understated. Sultry on some tracks, operatic on others, all with an underlying tone of wickedness, Bresseleers brings her own brand of debauchery to the Lords.
Part of the deal for supporting the crowdfunding campaign was a pass to the Lords of Acid “Backers Only” Facebook group, and in the months leading up to the show, the band members would periodically host live Q&A interviews with fans to get everyone ready for an unforgettable night in each respective city, a nice touch of class.
The rest of the lineup on this tour for the Lords would include DietTrich Thrall on bass (Doyle), Sin Quirin on guitar (Ministry), and Galen Waling on drums (Ludovico Technique, various).
Support for the tour was provided by Gabriel and the Apocalypse, Little Miss Nasty, Genitorturers, and Orgy. Genitorturers are a band I’ve been trying to see live ever since I was old enough to start attending shows, so I was as excited for them as I was for the Lords.
Unlike the previous tour, the Michigan date was booked in Flint instead of Detroit at a newer club called Buick City Event Center. It had seemingly sprung up overnight - at the beginning of the year, shows started appearing online that would be booked there, such as Soulfly and other larger names. Most of the time, going to a show in Flint would indicate a trip to the Machine Shop, which is the best venue in Michigan in my opinion. So not only would I be getting to see the Lords again, I would also be experiencing a new venue.
Along with me on this adventure would be fellow WIDR FM personality DJ Shadowplay, host of The Eleventh Hour on Wednesday nights, along with my friend Austin, a man with low-to-no knowledge of Industrial music or Lords of Acid, but open-minded enough to buy a ticket on a whim and join in. The show was booked for Saturday, March 9th.
The actual venue itself was gorgeous, and I will definitely be returning for future shows. Secure, fenced-in parking lots immediately eased my worries about being in an area of Flint that was new to me, and there were already several cars in the lot when we arrived. The setup is interesting - when walking in, the club appears to be a small Buick/auto museum, and it isn’t until walking further in that you get to the nightclub area. The nightclub part is soaked in purple and blue neon lights with an interior decor scheme similar to the aesthetic of the Motor City Casino and Hotel. In other words, very swanky.
In between bands, the hype man / MC of the event would toss out free Buick City Event Center Merchandise to the patrons.
“Who wants to play a game? Raise your hand if you want to play a game!”
As soon as someone raised their hand, he yelled “You win!” and tossed out free shirts and hats. I forget what he said his name was, but he was a great source of entertainment through the night, and kind of made me want HIS job. He also talked about how excited he was to see LOA, since he used to play them all the time when he was a strip club DJ. We had rail the whole time from start to finish, and later on he noticed me still in the same spot and exclaimed, “Damn dude, you’ve been there ALL night!”
Speaking of rail, it was the perfect height, so nobody could be too short for it. The stage is small, but it provided an intimate setting. The size is somewhere between the Machine Shop of Flint and St. Andrews Hall of Detroit.
The sound quality for every act was also on point - most instruments and vocals could be easily distinguished from each other, no problem.
Like many venues, the sides are equipped with VIP tables. Closed circuit monitors adorn the walls which show a clear view of the main stage. These monitors are apparently equipped in VIP rooms throughout the venue, which are available to attendees for a few hundred dollars upgrade.
Not knocking it, but I couldn’t help but wonder why someone would pay extra money for a concert just to be able to watch it from a separate room in the building on a screen. Once the bands busted out the smoke machines, they became practically unwatchable on the monitors, especially with the bass rattling the camera. I CANNOT say what the VIP rooms are like on the inside, but I still have to question who would pay to watch a show like that. Either way, I’ll probably never find out.
Gabriel and the Apocalypse
This Minneapolis-based Industrial/Hard Rock band has been making waves in the underground in the last few years as a wildly powerful onstage spectacle. My friend (and part-time co-host) Chad Thomas Carsten has done interviews with them in the past, and this tour served as the precursor to the release of their new album “Alpha Bionic,” produced in part by fellow Minneapolis musician John Wheeler of MYZERO and Blue Felix. However, fans attending had the opportunity to grab the new album before its release date.
Dressed in the fashion of post-apocalyptic comic book characters, or zombies that became self-aware enough to form a rock band, the band immediately grabbed the attention of the still-arriving crowd as the first performance of the night. Keyboardist Figgles McGee seemingly emerged out of nowhere and immediately started jumping like a madman on a large drum, screaming to the crowd “DON’T BE SCARED! COME UP HERE!”
The crowd heeded his call and began to fill in. When the band launched into their high-octane industrial rock sound, they were joined shortly thereafter by lead singer and band namesake Lindy Gabriel. The chemistry between the band members was apparent, and Lindy seemed to be “commanding” the band like some kind of valkyrie. The members were climbing the amps and being generally crazy onstage. The bassist, Will Reisdorf, noticed my Ministry 2018 tour shirt, gave me a big thumbs up, mouthed “I like your shirt!” and threw me a purple Dunlop pick.
One unexpected song was a cover of Beds are Burning by Midnight Oil, which will be available on the new album, and which DJ Shadowplay got a kick out of.
Overall, it was one of the most entertaining opening sets I’ve seen in recent months, and it’ll be exciting to see what they do next. Lord (no pun intended) knows this tour should gain them plenty of new fans.
Little Miss Nasty
Not a “band” as much as a rock-and-roll burlesque group, Little Miss Nasty was the “wild card” on the lineup. I had an idea of what to expect, but wasn’t sure how it would play in to the rest of the show. Having viewed their performance first-hand, I’ve concluded that this is EXACTLY the kind of entertainment I would expect from a Lords of Acid tour, and wondered why something like this wasn’t on the bill when I saw them the first time.
Four gorgeous women in schoolgirl outfits (and other tantalizing ensembles), accented by G-strings and electric tape, performed several exotic dancing routines to the beats of various hard rock and heavy metal hits, beginning the first block with Korn’s cover of “Another Brick in the Wall.” They would periodically exit the stage for a quick outfit or prop change, so each segment was something different and exciting.
They actually performed two different shows, one before Genitorturers and one before Lords of Acid. During the first show, the crowd was mostly hushed, and I realized that I kept forgetting to blink by what I was seeing.
Towards the end of the first show, one of the women spat beer all over me, then leaned in real close to caress my face, handing me a (mostly) full can of Coors Light. It was one of the greatest moments of my life, and I even got a free beer out of it!
The second set was even more exciting than the first. Since the crowd had warmed up to it, Little Miss Nasty was greeted with wild cheers. The second set involved a large swing bar that was fastened to the stage so that the members could perform suspension routines (not the hook kind), which was even more impressive to see. I kept thinking something bad was gonna happen, but it didn’t, and that made it even better.