Jul 23, 2022

Howie Pyro Memorial - Bowery Ballroom

Category: Live Reviews



Bowery Ballroom


 D Generation SET LIST:  Queen of A, Feel Like Suicide, Apocalypse Kids, No Way Out, Capital Offender, Working on the Avenue, Vampire Nation, Frankie, Degenerated

Jesse Malin & Friends SET LIST: 

Stay Free (Clash cover), Broken Radio

The Card Cheat (Clash cover with Paul Bearer)

Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight (The Rezillos Cover with Jimmy G)

 Leaving Babylon, Sail’ On (Bad Brains cover with HR)

Down On The Street, 1970  (Stooges cover with Eugene from Gogol Bordello)

 I Want You Around (Ramones cover with Theo Kogan from Lunachicks and Sean Pierce from Toilet Boys)

 Sex Beat (Gun Club cover with Kid Congo Powers),

Goo Goo Muck (The Cramps cover with Kid Congo Powers),

Stealing Time, Too Loose (D Generation cover with Brian Fallon)

 Toilet Boys SET LIST:  Go Go Boy, Turn It Up, Saturday Nite, Another Day In The Life

 Tommy Stinson SET LIST:  Life’s a Gas (T-Rex cover featuring Dianne Gentile) 

 Beaut SET LIST:  I’m Set Free (Velvet Underground cover)

Howie Pyro was an essential part of D Generation and his passing marks a sad ending to the band on many levels.  Jesse Malin and company put together a fitting tribute to Pyro and it all went down on a hot New York evening at the Bowery Ballroom.

 Musical peers such as Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem, H.R. from Bad Brains, Eugene from Gogol Bordello, Tommy Stinson, and The Toilet Boys, all paid tribute to Howie and proceeds from this show were donated to The UCLA Liver Transplant Foundation.

 Kid Congo Powers served as MC for the show and introduced each act.  

 The first song of the night was performed by Beaut and it was an interesting cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Set Free”.

 Dianne Gentile with Tommy Stinson on guitar performed a touching cover of T-Rex’s “Life’s a Gas” which was set up with a sweet story about Howie.  Every performer said kind words about Howie before their performance(s).  Listening to random stories of Pyro’s amazing sense of humor, how he was such a truly sweet soul, and how much his music truly changed people’s lives, it was awe inspiring to be in the room and feel the love for Pyro.

 The Toilet Boys performed a strong 4 song set and they said Howie was 100% responsible for them being a band.  The band joked about how Pyro took credit for coming up with their name and The Toilet Boys set was the first loud, in your face set of the night.  Prior to The Toilet Boys every performance was mellow and acoustic based.

 The roadies/stagehands had their work cut out for them because with the various equipment changes also came random issues with gear, plugs, and lack of space for the amount of equipment, guitars, and gear onstage.

 Jesse Malin performed an interesting set with various friends and collaborators…this was where the evening truly became special because these were one night only, one and done jams with various rockers who paid tribute to Pyro.

 Malin started with a Clash cover and by the third song he was joined by Paul Bearer for a cover of “The Card Cheat” by The Clash.  Paul Bearer is a larger than life character and his performance was intense.

 Jimmy G sang “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Heads Kicked in Tonight” by The Rezillo’s and he primarily sang on the floor, in the crowd for most of this song.   Later in the evening during D Generation’s set Jimmy ripped Jesse Malin’s shirt off and kept it as a souvenir.

 HR from The Bad Brains joined Malin for two Bad Brains reggae covers and this was the mellowest moment in Malin’s solo set as HR brought smooth reggae vibes to the room.  

 Eugene from Gogol Bordello took the stage next and he was an absolute madman!   Eugene & Malin jammed on two Iggy and The Stooges covers and this was where elements of danger and craziness were the law of the land.   Eugene jumped off the monitors, the drum riser, his shirt was ripped off before the first song ended, and his performance was clearly inspired by old school Iggy Pop.  By the end of “1970” Malin was caught up in the angsty punk rock vibe, took his Telecaster off, and threw it to the ground.


 Theo Kogan from Lunachicks performed a Ramones cover with her husband, Sean Pierce from The Toilet Boys on guitar.  Theo told the story of how she met her husband Sean through Howie when Pyro was DJing at a club.  She said her first dance with Sean was to the song “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead and she then told a story of how she needed money years ago and sold her entire record collection.  When Pyro found out he went to the shop where she sold all of her records, bought them all, and gave them back to her.  


Kid Congo Powers performed 2 songs on lead vocals, a cover of The Gun Club’s “Sex Beat” and The Cramps “Goo Goo Muck” which was preceded by a story of how Pyro was such a huge fan of The Cramps that he used “Goo Goo Muck” as part of his personal email address.

 The highlight of the Jesse Malin set was when Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon joined him for two D Generation covers, “Stealing Time” and “Too Loose”.  Fallon killed it and the onstage chemistry between Malin and Fallon was strong.  Fallon told a story of growing up in the New Jersey area and witnessing how cool Pyro and the NYC rock scene was but not being cool enough to be a part of that NYC rock scene.  Fallon’s vocals on “Too Loose” were spot on and the only odd part of the performance was the intro because that bass line IS Howie Pyro.

 Every performer commented that Howie was in the room and enjoying every moment of the night.  

 D Generation were the headliner and they delivered a solid, loose set that paid homage to their fallen friend.  

Opening with “Queens” and going directly into “Suicide”, the short nine song set was an interesting mix of newer and older songs from the band.

 “No Way Out” was where the crowd lost their minds and the pushing and shoving started.  The crowd itself was friendly, there was no violence, and Jesse commented that he felt like he knew everyone in the room because it was all friends and family.

 Filling in for Pyro on bass was Kevin Tyler Preston.  Preston is best known as the touring guitarist for Greenday since 2019.  Preston also fronts the California based band Prima Donna and was a member of the Billie Joe Armstrong band The Long Shots.

 Malin commented that Pyro was buried in the Hollywood forever cemetery where Burt Reynold’s and members of the Ramones are at.

 Danny Sage had several issues with his gear throughout the show and there were moments where his guitar cut totally out.  That’s the beauty of live rock n roll, sh*t happens and you role with the punches to get the job done.  Danny seemed slightly annoyed by the issues but played it off well and his energy/performance were set on 10.

 Closing with their theme song, “Degenerated”, Malin covered the stage and the front of the venue with bags of glitter and sparkly confetti.  There was an afterparty a few blocks down the street and Malin commented during the show that this was the first time certain members of D Generation had spoken since their last show several years back.

 All in all the room was full friends and family that celebrated the life of Howie Pyro with one big rock n roll party which showed how loved Mr. Pyro truly is/was.  



Author: Bob Suehs