Tempe, AZ’s Marquee Theatre recently played host to an eclectic gathering of rock talents as Black Lips hit town with support from local acts Andrew Jackson Jihad, Destruction Unit, and Freaks Of Nature.
Despite their relatively young age, Athens, GA’s Black Lips have a resume that reads likes a modern rock ‘n’ roll saga. Shortly after the formation of the band, founding members Alexander and Swilley were expelled from high-school during their senior in year in 1999, just following the infamous Columbine shootings. “They just figured we were up to some sort of subculture danger and didn’t want to take any chances, so they got rid of us. But I think that helped us become a better band.” commented Alex to OC Weekly. Still fledgling musicians at the time, the members were relying heavily on stage antics that often played out like watered-down GG Allen appearances, complete with public nudity, vomiting, and setting fire to guitars and even their own dicks. 2002 saw the band dealt a fatal blow, as founding member, vocalist and guitarist Ben Eberbaugh was killed in a head-on coliseum while parked at toll booth. The vehicle that struck his car was traveling on the wrong side of the interstate. Believing Eberbaugh would have wanted the band to push forward, the remaining members did just that.. After years of underground hits and notorious stage antics throughout the World. Black Lips are currently supporting their 6th studio album, Arabia Mountain, released via Vice Records in 2011.
No longer reliant on the stage antics of their younger years, the members of the Black Lips put on a solid live show in 2013. The air of expectancy still ever-present, and the rebellious undertones strong. About 4 songs in the Black Lips brought forth a barrage of toilet paper that proceeded to bank off of all corners of the Marque. A few youngsters even managed to get themselves arrested as the show moved forward undaunted. Black Lips recently did a faithful cover of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings‘ “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”; This is from their Record Store Day split 7″ with Icky Blossoms (who turn in a cover of Siouxsie and the Banshee‘s “Arabian Knights”). It can be streamed here:
Rounding out this bill was Phoenix, AZ’s leading sons of manic-styled, acoustic punk-rock, Andrew Jackson Jihad, who set forth a solid set spanning their prolific output of material dating back to 2006. The band has garnred a solid local following as they continue sporadic touring throughout the US, and if you missed our Philly special of AJJ, be sure to scope it here.
The Freaks Of Nature played lead for this bill with a 60s-punk rock inspired sound that benefits from the pedal wizardry of their guitarist, who crafts all his own effects. Destruction Unit rounded out the bill with a blazing set of up-tempo garage and noise rock that was a definite crowd pleaser. Destruction Unit will be touring throughout the US this summer with a new 7″ single “Two Strong Hits,” available for pre-order at Suicide Squeeze Records.
And without further ado..Enjoy and exclusive set of photo’s by BTS’s Joshua T. Cohen.