Friday, April 24, 2009

Not My Scene

Throbbing Gristle
The Grand, San Francisco
April 23, 2009

Prior to the show I had the worst allergies all fucking day, and they lasted right up until show time.. To be honest, I was more caught up in the historic nature of this show versus any real fandom I have for Throbbing Gristle. The band was playing their first shows in the U.S. since 1981 and the final show before they broke up 28 years ago was in S.F. at Kezar Pavilion. As a result, this night was sold out well in advance.

I'll cut to the chase: I didn't get it. I was expecting something that didn't happen. I was prepared to experience a sensory event that didn't materialize. I was annoyed they kept the houselights on for the entire performance. At one point, Genesis P-Orridge sang the line "Someone else's history, someone else's mystery..." and ironically that summed up my experience perfectly.

I can only say that my reaction to Throbbing Gristle was the complete opposite of what I felt after Amebix earlier this year; both bands were gone for over 20 years and then rose again. I stumbled out of Amebix inspired and in awe of the power of music. Several members of the Umlaut Nation in attendance had the same experience from Throbbing Gristle's performance, but this wasn't my scene, man. This wasn't my scene.

Number of Amebix back patches = 1. If you bought one of every Throbbing Gristle merch item you would have paid $55. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. I'm trying to remember the last time I was at a concert where they kept the houselights on the entire time... I can't remember exactly.. but it might have been Fugazi at Pier 3.