November 10, 2015
Arriving just in time to catch the tail end of Youth Code’s set I was impressed with the act’s sound yet the stage felt empty due in part to just 2 humans being the actual onstage band. Industrial music has never been about “live” musicianship and a full live “band” so I gave Youth Code a pass and enjoyed their set despite the lack of onstage live musicians. What dawned on me while watching Youth Code was how the industrial movement and the hip hop movement both found a way to knock out “live” musicians in favor of pre-recorded music; I’d never drawn the comparisons to Hip Hop and Industrial until that moment.
Skinny Puppy are industrial rock icons and they pulled in a large Baltimore crowd on a Tuesday night which is rare!
Skinny Puppy’s onstage show was very theatrical and Ogre came out dressed as a Religious character who kept getting injected with needles by a maniac “bull man” and by the end of the show Ogre’s once pure white suite was covered in various colors of dye which bled from the oversized needles protruding from his body. I know my description of the onstage show left some readers in confusion, but seeing Skinny Puppy on their current tour is an experience where each concert goer walked away with a different interpretation of what they saw onstage.
As a musician I constantly break down what an artist is doing onstage and often times I find myself examining their live rig, their gear, and their overall playing techniques. Skinny Puppy are an act who’s purpose is more visual than musical; the bottom line is that you don’t go to an industrial show expecting to see a totally live performance! Skinny Puppy sounded amazing, their show was spooky, weird, and at times I wasn’t quite sure where they were going because there was no rhyme or reason in terms of how their show flowed.
At the Skinny Puppy merch table there was a sign that said Ogre’s white jacket which he wore onstage was being sold via a silent auction and after the show and that the highest bidder would walk away with it! That’s actually a really cool idea for the die hard fans but I have no clue how high the actually bidding went to; regardless, owning a cool piece like that from the show you attended is killer for the die hard Skinny Puppy freaks!
Skinny Puppy did 2 encores before calling it a night and as far as the bands visual performance I can speak for the entire crowd and say that it was amazing!