KILLING JOKE + PIG @ THE REGENT
Let it be known that when Killing Joke comes to town (which isn’t often) everyone who is anyone will be in attendance, or at least that’s what it seemed like when the majority of Los Angeles showed up to a sold out Regent.
It was an evening to be had as long-time English rockers Killing Joke, finally made their doom and gloom return to Los Angeles for the Laugh At Your Peril 40th Anniversary Tour.
Best known for their “quasi-metal,” electronic and gothic sounds, as well as their ever-impactful sophomore album Night Time, brought their best efforts and put on a hell of a show with a career-spanning setlist.
Fans both seasoned and new all seemed to lose their minds when all four original members kicked off the evening with their 80’s jam “Love Like Blood,” and continuing on with “Eighties,” “Loose Cannon,” “Butcher,” “Follow the Leaders” and plenty of heavy riffs. 40 years later, it’s evident that the band’s mark in the world of post-punk seems more relevant than ever.
While Killing Joke has been in existence since 1978–with the exception of a six-year break-up–it was hard not to be impressed by the stamina of the original foursome Jaz Coleman, Geordie Walker, Paul Ferguson and Youth, which was really quite a treat to witness live as the chemistry is still very patent. As always in true fashion, Coleman had plenty to say about today’s politics and even the state of mother nature when he addressed why he hadn’t invested in any real estate here in Los Angeles and elsewhere,”… the abuse… 3,000 nuclear tests in mother nature, can you believe it? It’s obscene!” yelled, Coleman, and then carried on into “Butcher.”
It was funny to hear Coleman mention nuclear testing, as several years ago Killing Joke were supposed to embark on a pretty hefty tour. Days before the tour started, Coleman mysteriously disappeared. Even his bandmates were unaware of his whereabouts until it was discovered that he had flocked over to Iceland in fear of a nuclear apocalypse.
As the evening carried on, so did Coleman’s energy as shook himself several times on stage to the applause and wails of an enamoured crowd, and it didn’t stop there. Despite not wearing his iconic outfits, Walker still has one of the sexiest guitar stances and riffs, all whilst playing the same 1952 Gibson. You can clearly see Walker wielding the same Gibson in the music video for “Eighties.” Ferguson still maintains the same vigor and energy on percussion and is noteably one of the best of his time, all topped off by Youth’s lively basslines. Youth (who is a well-known record producer) appeared to be having the most fun on stage.
As the band exited the stage after “Pandemonium,” we slowly rolled out of the venue, sweat dripping and souls revived.
There couldn’t have been a more perfect opener for Killing Joke than industrial London-based rocker, Raymond Watts. Watts, who also operates under his well-known handle PIG had no problem turning on the crowd in his BDSM get up topped off with a killer metallic fringe jacket, sunglasses and a large pilot’s cap.
Performing as a live trio, Watts and co. immediately packed in the theater and brought their dark, ambient beats to an intrigued audience.
Love Like Blood
European Super State
New Cold War
Turn to Red
Follow the Leaders
The Death and Resurrection Show