Feedback disrupts Black Lips at The Casbah
Touring in support of the new album Arabia Mountain,The Black Lips are no stranger to playing the Casbah or even large festivals like FYF Fest. But Thursday night (June 9) the band was plagued by technical difficulties, however you wouldn’t know it by listening.
The night began with New Jersey’s Personal and the Pizzas, dishing out rock with eccentric affection towards their go-to Italian cuisine. Songs like “Pepperoni Eyes” are garage-rock love songs in the same vein of Black Lips’ hazy nostalgia. Not only do the band write songs as if they had been left behind from some distant decade but their onstage persona's feature the correct throwback attire as well. After a short set by local blues strummer Low Volts (Tim Lowman) in the Atari Lounge, it was time for tour mates to take their late 70s hardcore to the stage. While differing significantly from the other bands on the bill, with blazing punk beats and indecipherable vocals, CereberalBallzy played on without any objection from the crowd. Coming across like Bad Brains’ early DIY demo tapes, Ballzy definitely had the loudest set of the night but with none of the moshing that Black Lips was sure to incite.
“How are we going to salvage this one?” Laughed Lips guitarist Cole Alexander into the mic as the other members struggled to find the correct tuning for their guitars. Although not nearly as inebriated at the rowdy beer throwing crowd, Lips still managed to make stage faux pas that were a constant distraction in between songs. The trouble began with lead guitarist Ian St. Pé’s amplifier that had to be switched out because of constant feedback. Relived and ready to begin their set, only three songs in things began to get worse as tunings slipped and songs were sometimes started without all members on board and ready to go. “Man we suck tonight. Who wants to see us pee in our mouths?” asked bassist Jared Swilley as the band had to consistently pow-wow with each other to make sure they were in tune. Songs like “Drugs” and “O Katrina” are steeped in the band member’s uninhibited personalities, and when performed correctly make great bygone bar anthems. The band also debuted new songs like “Go Out and Get It” and “Dumpster Dive” from the new album Arabia Mountain, which was released earlier in the week. Despite all the confusion, the Lips’ 17 song set list still retained a fist full of heart and the crowd could easily forgive the band by the end of the night.