Hello fiends, it has been twenty years since I’ve seen Skinny Puppy perform live, and let me tell you, it was just as fantastic today as it was back then.For those of you not in the know,Skinny Puppy is an influential post-industrial band, formed in 1982 by core members cEvin Key (Kevin Crompton) and NivekOgre (ohGr) (Kevin Ogilvie) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The concert was marked by their bizarre and bloody conceptual performance art, which for every concert was planned with the intention of challenging the notions of all who observed. Their music speaks to the ugly young non-conformist in us all, in raw noise and danceable beats, their influence on me as a young man growing up in the nineties, and on industrial music in general, is immense.
They played classics like Assimilate and Smothered Hope, as well as a few new tunes to a warm crowd that was just mesmerized by the performance. Post-punk politics are a recurring theme utilized by Skinny Puppy. Some say the meaning of their name is that their music and lyrics give a view of the world from the eyes of a starving animal. They have long had an interest in animal rights;this is most obvious in their song Testure, which is about vivisection and other animal testing being scientific fraud.Needless to say, many large syringes were used and abused, and a fine time was had by all.
The only thing I wanted more of was a few tracks from “Too Dark Park”, but that is just the hallucinogenic album that I owe such a debt to in rabid youth and times spent in a place with good friends, Slidell, La that we dubbed Too Dark Park…. Ah, memories, but I digress.
The opening Act, Youth Code, was also surprisingly stellar, filled with Hate and Rage. Bile and Truth.Sara Taylor and Ryan George, aka Los Angeles’ Youth Code,Brought the fucking house down, uncompromising and consuming You could feel her fierce and brutal take on life and those who live it with a Chainsaw and a Razor Blade. They are an upcoming band to watch, and I recommend them quite highly.
All and all, It was a Brap, a word coined by NivekOgre and defined as a verb meaning “to get together, hook up electronic instruments, get high, and record”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I will leave you, dear fiends, with a few more shots of the Show, as I sit at my keyboard and try to process what I saw last night.
All Photos and Writing copyright Vincent Piazza 2015