So it can now be confirmed: The reunited Jesus Lizard haven’t lost a fucking beat. Trust me on this.
I got to see them three times this past weekend in England, and I’ll tell you right now that they weren’t just as good as when they stopped, they were as good as they were in (say) 1992. For a man that’s probably approaching 50, Yow was classic Yow. Leapt right into the crowd repeatedly every night without fear.
The first night was of particular note because it was the only time I’d ever seen an ocean of fans sing along to every one of their songs. For a band that was supposedly as terrified as they were, you couldn’t tell. Fierce. F-I-E-R-C-E.
Things of note: First, TJL super-fan Bernie Bahrmasel was nowhere to be seen which I found particularly odd. Second, the crowd were magnificent. No violence. Just pure bliss. And thirdly, the band looked like they were having a blast. My only criticism (and it’s minor) is that Duane’s guitar doesn’t sound quite right.
Harvey Milk were in fine form as well. A lengthy set at ATP and a shortened set at the Forum opening for TJL. Grails were equally good.
And to avoid the discussion, I wasn’t totally thrilled by Sleep. I mean, I like the albums, but I just found their live sound to be really blown out. But of course, I saw both shows. I don’t want to be the asshole who wrote off a band that did two reunion shows on the merit of one of them.
This was the first ATP in the UK that my lovely wife tagged along. She had a great time. Knocked a love seat over with my buddy Pete in it. Iain recorded a chillingly beautiful recording of Pete doing an acapella version of "Dragonaut" by Sleep. (It was ingrained in our heads all weekend!) It’s up on AudioBoo. Check it out.
One peculiar side note I feel necessary to bring up. Yow informed me that Boche Billions (their booking agent since day one) had been going around accusing me of stealing a bottle of Maker’s at the 40 Watt during a Blues Explosion show in ’94 or ’95. I found this preposterous for a number reasons. First and foremost, although he felt comfortable going around accusing me of this falsehood, he never felt the need to address this directly with me. That’s chicken shit. Secondly, back when I drank (pre-’97), the thought of stealing backstage booze was a no-no. I mean, it still is, but you get what I’m saying. Thirdly, I never drank Maker’s. Ever. I was strictly a beer guy. And, for a guy that only talked to me a total of one time 14 years ago, his ability to remember picayune (and innacurate) information about such a dumb incident was something to behold. Additionally, considering I’ve housed over the past 20 years a good share of his clients, I would’ve expected a pass. But no. Whatever. I think Boche smoothed it over with me albeit with a smirk of disbelief on his face while I discussed it with him backstage at the Forum in London. I still absolutely respect what Boche does for a living. This interview from ten years ago in Chunklet is still quite relevant.
I’m including the second Peel session by The Jesus Lizard as a token of thanks to the band and the fans (and especially ATP) for making such a spectacular weekend.
The Jesus Lizard – Gladiator (’92 Peel Session)
The Jesus Lizard – Whirl (’92 Peel Session)
The Jesus Lizard – Puss (’92 Peel Session)
The Jesus Lizard – Boilermaker (’92 Peel Session)