THROBBING GRISTLE @ THE MONTALBAN THEATRE

April 27th, 2009 |

The Los Angeles Throbbing Gristle show was sneakily announced days before Coachella began this year and weeks after the San Francisco show sold out—long after their Los Angeles fans decided to buckle up, pay the money, and endure the overheated conditions to see a band that hasn’t given a California performance in 30 years. Those of us that couldn’t make either one of those shows had an opportunity to catch an under-promoted and intimate appearance at the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre this past Tuesday. The tour, thus far, has seen the band switching off between delivering a solid set spanning their hits and performing a live score to In the Shadow of the Sun, a film made in the late ‘70s by English experimental-film magician, Derek Jarman. Los Angeles was handed the latter. Overall, the audience responded with ecstasy and respect, but more than a few mutterings circulated about getting cheated out of a traditional performance. But isn’t that what you’d expect from a band that’s known to break all the rules? An encore of “Persuasion” followed the film, and that was it. It would have been nice to have more, but I loved that hour-long rumbling and breaking atmospheric body-trembling drone we received. TG, please come back soon. We’ll always be wanting more.

—Katie Byron