Last night, I ventured out to Redondo Beach to see a show. While it’s hardly surprising that I went to a concert, the ridiculous awesomeness of the show I witnessed was on a level all its own. Take the excitement and unbridled bliss that goes along with an Andrew W.K. show, add in some funny moose hats and giant Flintstone costumes, and it makes for quite an evening.
The show was Green Jelly and Psychostick, with support from a horrendous 2-piece death metal outfit that will remain nameless and a local rock band led by a dude who looked like Kid Rock. I went to the show specifically to see Psychostick, a hard rock/metal (or "humor-core") band from Arizona whose songs are punch-you-in-the-face funny. Have you ever wanted to hear the alphabet done metal style? With a br00t4l breakdown in the middle? Yep, they got it. A slow-motion mosh pit? Si, senor. A band that starts a song and then stops playing but still mimes the motions of playing? Yeah, that too. In all, Psychostick wrapped more amazingness into about 35 minutes than I have ever really seen in concert.
I only heard of them a few months ago on a visit home to the Bay Area, as local high school radio station KVHS was playing this, a tune that basically reached out through the stereo and kicked me in the balls. The band is able to skewer all types of genres and styles, but not at the expense of quality, and definitely not with the same amount of cheese that someone like Weird Al Yankovic pours all over his songs. Psychostick’s two full-length albums, 2006’s We Couldn’t Think of a Title and 2009’s Sandwich, are both chock-full of skits, songs, and parodies of all sorts of angsty whiny mainstream rock clichés, and the results are, well, life-changing.
The song I heard on the radio, #1 Radio $ingle, in which lead singer/Guitar Hero axeman Rob "Rawrb" Kersey sings the clichés of modern rock hits is absolutely perfect. Just listen to it, don’t rely on my lamely-written accolades. They didn’t play it last night, but they made up for it with a hilarious cover of Drowning Pool’s Bodies in which Rawrb says I can only count to four. I can only count to four over and over. Check out my video of said song at the end of this review. I couldn’t stop laughing (and moshing). The rest of the band, Josh “Special J” Key (guitar), Alex Preiss (drums), and touring bassist Matty “Poolmoose” J, have their own roles to play in the on-stage shenanigans, and they do so with great skill.
Psychostick’s live show is exceptionally entertaining, as they have a great onstage routine down pat. The jokes between songs lead into the next song and there is no awkward silences; Rawrb is engaging and funny as hell. At one point the band fell asleep (during the end of the song Caffeine), and woke each other up slowly before launching into the end of the frantic song. Besides the songs I’ve mentioned, Psychostick played Scrotal Torment (about, well, itchy balls), BEER (one of their best songs), P is the Best Letter, and This is not a Song, it’s a Sandwich. There were probably others but it was too much fun to take notes. Oh, they also donned sunglasses and went into Danger Zone, the Top Gun theme....and oh yeah it was just as fun as you'd hope.
I bet Psychostick would make a great "serious" band, since their songs have great music and instrumentals, but they're so good at what they do now, that any stylistic change would be a bad idea. There don't seem to be very many other bands with similar styles anywhere near as talented or great as Psychostick, so they're just fine as they are.
If you haven’t heard of Psychostick before, GET ON IT. Their two albums are some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever heard in my life. One of the last tracks on We Couldn’t Think of a Title is 373 Thank Yous, which is a normal band “thank you” list set to 15 minutes of skull-shattering riffs and drum fills, with Rawrb shouting people’s names instead of lyrics. It’s amazing (yeah, I know, I’ve used that word a lot thus far).
The other bands were pretty entertaining as well, albeit for different reasons. The unnamed two-piece death metal group, in particular, was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever seen, UNLESS it was performance art, in which case it was great. I took notes on my phone of some of the stuff the dudes were saying, presented in list form right here:
“We’re not really sure what we’re doing, but we’re really drunk, so let’s go!”
“Who’s ready for some BLACK METALLL?”
“Alright we’re done. Thanks for stickin’ by our shitty set. Time for better bands to play.”
“I don’t really know how to play drums, you just smack ‘em around and get really drunk.”
“We hate the fuckin’ Bible…and we hate its fuckin’ words!!”
Oh, and did I mention that the drum kit had all broken cymbals that sounded like hitting cardboard boxes (similar to the Lars Ulrich effect from St. Anger, but worse)? Or that they placed three bibles or holy books of some kind on the stage, nailed together in some sort of protest of religion (I think)? I’d say this performance was high school talent show-bad. It was really….something.
Green Jelly, though, was pretty much as awesome as I had expected. I’ve only ever really heard the 3 Little Pigs song, but the show was flat-out insane. The singer guy came out dressed in a big cow costume, and he made us all get on our knees and repent for our sins (and pray to the Cow God). He repeatedly invited people onstage and gave them silly masks to wear, and changed wardrobes a few times, at one point wearing an elaborate ensemble that looked like George Clinton mixed with glow sticks and cereal boxes. It was strange.
The songs were zany ridiculous numbers about a cereal killer (get it? ha) named Toucan the Son of Sam, the 3 little pigs, and a Flintstones-themed cover of the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK. It was all over in about 40 minutes, and by the end my face hurt from laughing and smiling.
In all, this show was one of the most fun shows I’ve ever been to. Green Jelly dude said they’re touring with GWAR in the fall (of course they are) and that they’re also on Warped Tour this summer. I can’t wait to see the lame emo kids at Warped getting all confused as a giant cow makes them get on their knees in worship.
I had gone to the show only expecting to enjoy Psychostick, and while they were even more entertaining than I had expected, the entire evening was a blast.
Again, if you haven’t heard of Psychostick, go to their website and buy stuff. Oh, and watch my videos from the show.
I leave you with some pictures from the night, as well.