Feb 12, 2009

Acey Slade / Black Light Burns / Combichrist - Recher Theatre

By Bob Suehs



Towson, Maryland

Ok, so this show was the first that Wes Borland & Black Light Burns have played since the press release was sent stating that Limp Bizkit was doing a full scale reunion tour & a new record. My first thought was, wow, I wonder if that news will force Black Light Burns to drop from this tour so Wes Borland can jam with Limp Bizkit & get things together for that project? Then my other question was, "Is Wes still a part of Marilyn Manson now?" To set the record straight, I talked to Wes directly after his set & I had the opportunity to interview him a year prior when he played the same club on a headlining jaunt to promote his debut Black Light Burns record.

Wes is a very personable, articulate, kind individual who treats people with respect & the times I've been around him, he was very down to earth & friendly. My first question to him was, "I thought you'd never play with Limp Bizkit again, you told me last year that you were done with them."

In my interview last year Wes stated:

Rock N Roll Experience: So Limp Bizkit is over & done for good?

Wes Borland: Forever & Ever. I will never have anything to do with that guy (Fred Durst) again!

Rock N Roll Experience: When you say that guy, you mean Fred Durst?

Wes Borland: Fred..Fred..the other guys I would work with again in a heartbeat...I’m still in communication with all of them.

BUT, last night when I asked Wes about the Limp Bizkit reunion, he said:

(comments made 2/12/09)

Wes Borland: I'm only doing the overseas shows with them as of right now, and as far as the new record, with those guys, don't believe it until you see it & as of right now there's nothing happening, I'm only doing the shows overseas with them & we'll see what happens

I asked Wes if he was still a part of Marilyn Manson & he said No, that he he had left Twiggy & Manson behind...he said that he was in the studio & did 3 or 4 songs with MM & Twiggy, that it's some of the best music that he's ever heard in his entire life, & that the new Marilyn Manson material is way better than the last record (Eat Me, Drink Me), but he decided to leave Twiggy & Manson...when I asked him for an explanation as to what happened he simply said that story was too long to get into right now.

I got the 2 pressing questions out that I wanted to know, so I said thanks to Wes, I appreciated his open conversation with me so on to my review now:

There was a local opener this night & the show kicked off with a 3 man band that had electronic drums...I've seen this band before & they have a depressing "goth" tone/vibe...their set was good, but it didn't quite convey on a mid sized stage nor in the lights..this was the kinda music that was best played in a REALLY dark room.

Acey Slade was next & he played a glitter-rock-electro-dosed set that saw Acey with a brand new batch of musicians & musically, the tunes were less heavy then Trashlight Vision & imagine Iggy Pop playing J-Pop music..that's what it was exactly like! Acey climbed the monitors, tossed bottles of glitter on himself & the crowd & there was even a cool cover of "Sanctuary" by The Cult! I enjoyed the short but to the point Acey Slade set.

Black Light Burns were co-headlining this tour & Wes & the boys have honed Black Light Burns to perfection! They played 2 covers this night, one Sister of Mercy's tune & the closer was Love & Rocket's "So Alive". Wes Borland's band, in my opinion, was the highlight of the night...they were totally, 100% live, everything you saw on that stage was the real deal...artistically odd, melancholy at times, yet sonically dark & beautifully chaotic....Wes Borland is an interesting frontman who is sporting a rather thick mustache these days that looks very much like a short bristled broom...think Willard Filmore!

I've seen Black Light Burns probably 4 or 5 times at this point & the band has gotten tighter & tighter every single time...this was definitely the best sounding show I've seen in some time..the energy was crazy, the water bottles were flying & the saddest thing to me was that this was a Combichrist show, so the fanbase there was primarily Combichrist's...Black Light Burns got great feedback from the crowd, but there were the Combichrist kids who were there just to see the techno-industrial freaks in Combi-C., so they were resistant to real, live, intense rock n roll....regardless, Black Light Burns set was hot, sweaty & riveting! Regardless of whether Wes takes another stab at Limp Bizkit, his jaunt in Marilyn Manson, or his outings with Black Light Burns...as long as he stays on a stage, performs, continues to create music, he is doing the world a great honor in bestowing us with wildly creative performances that leave you entertained, ears hurting, & probably wet!

Combichrist were the nights headliners & their stage show is lights heavy with a live drummer with a full drum kit, there's a percussionist with a partial drum kit & lots o' random drum's, there's a keyboard/synth mechanic who's the guy who triggers all the effects & I'm assuming he is playing some live parts, then there's the bands singer/screamer....this was my first Combichrist show & I have alot of respect for what they do...they create live dance music onstage, but for someone like me, what I miss is live guitars & totally live instrumentation.

What I mean is, with Acey & Black Light Burns, you had live music, guitar/bass/drums/vocals, it was in your face, direct & you saw live playing..with Combichrist, the drums & vocals are the only "live" elements & more than anything, I come from a very different sorta musical background, so whenever I see industrial acts that focus heavily on sampling & limited live performance it's culture shock to me. What I will say though is that I saw Thrill Kill Cult several years ago & Combichrist ARE entertaining & good at what they do & they kept me entertained with a strong performance on that stage whereas Thrill Kill Cult were boring.

Combichrist did something pretty cool too, they handed the mic to fans midway through the set & let them ask the band questions...there was a bonus song not listed on the set that got played from this interaction & it was interesting to see the different types of people in that crowd..there were the goth kids, the one's that brought their glow sticks & looked like they were on E., there were the obviously gay, there were a few rock n roll people, & my general comment was that the crowd was obviously shopping heavily at Hot Topic & that was a given fact!

This might be one of the more interesting billings I've seen in quite some time...all the bands were diverse, different, unique & as a whole, this billing was magnificent!