THE BLACK QUEEN PREVAILS BEYOND TECH FRUSTRATIONS

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The Black Queen

It’s Thirsty Thursday and Get Some’s private copter is rented out for a PETA event with Nick Offerman so I have to drive myself drunkenly to downtown L.A. I park in the beginnings of skid row and hope some spun out schizo doesn’t mistake my first generation Prius full of GrubHub and Saucey delivery bags for a car that actually has shit worth smash-and-grabbing. I hear a car blasting Team Sleep so I know I’m close.

I walk into the Regent and hear yodeling. I could tell you SRSQ is like if Kate Bush just had a drum machine and was the type that said stuff like “yeah, but have you ever listened to that record ON WEED?” But standing alone in front of a keyboard, Kennedy Ashlyn’s really pouring her heart into this half full crowd (see? I can be an optimist). She’s only missing smoke machines and lasers, otherwise, she would’ve been every drama club kid’s dream prom date of the mid-’80s. A 1986 Madonna track plays as she exits the stage.

Uniform is a punk rock Ministry moshfuck industrial noise duo that sounds like it should be blasting from a hijacked CRT television. Frontman Michael Berdan looks like current day Anthony Kiedis with a MySpace haircut and I’m trying my best not to judge based off of that. The transformation scene from American Werewolf in London plays in slo-mo behind them throughout their entire set. A man in a Gumby costume comes out and signals with a marker for an autograph on a vinyl record before being knocked down and prodded with a mic stand. “Without Gumby, we are NOTHING,” Berdan screams at the end of the track. Later they launch into what I believed was an interlude but trailed for so long maybe they think it’s a song. No beat. Just pickups squeaking and vibrating drones, while Ben Greenberg mashes the guitar like your little brother did the controller playing Mortal Kombat. Berdan’s squawks are echoed to a point of indecipherability. For all we know he’s telling us to just give Donnie Trump a chance.

The Black Queen

The venue has filled out for The Black Queen who open with “Thrown Into the Dark,” a single that should be reverberating in arenas. With his high-cut hair and green jacket, frontman Greg Puciato looks like he’s performing at Wasteland Weekend. The bass beats punches us in the chest during “No Accusations.”

Guitarist Steven Alexander gets frustrated during their biggest hit, “Ice to Never.” He parades across the stage to smack his Macbook but the music sounds fine. Maybe the laptop called him a little bitch. I don’t know; I wasn’t close enough.

The band goes into “Your Move” as a video plays of someone under that compression table we used in high school to silk screen t-shirts of our basement nu-metal bands. I guess that’s a BDSM thing now. A man in front of me is greeted by his returning partner with a mutual lick. To this song, a kiss would’ve been inappropriate.

The Black Queen

Puciato starts “Taman Shud” out of key but inevitably finds his path. I still trust him.

A tall, lanky goth couple with chopstick legs are now blocking my view of Puciato and those hip thrusts that would make Elvis demand the television cameras only show him from the waist up. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been with a white woman in a minute, but the woman looks like shes made of matchsticks while scrawny Peter Steele grabs her pelvic bone behind.

Towards the end of “That Death Cannot Touch You,” Alexander is so frustrated with his guitar that he sends it crowd surfing.

“Secret Scream” is such a fuck anthem that the couple in front of me justifiably starts necking. I think my proximity is the only reason they aren’t fingering each other’s holes right now.

The Black Queen

Puciato tickles the Dillinger Escape Plan fans in the audience by singing a line from “One of Us is the Killer” during an interlude, in the same venue, DEP played their final Los Angeles show.

During the last song of the evening, Puciato grabs a guitar to jam out the finale of “Apocalypse Morning.” I don’t even notice that a real drummer showed up behind the band. This song is what I want every Black Queen track to feel like. Alexander kicks over the prop amplifier, as Greg climbs a stack of amps to force feedback from his guitar before hugging all the front row and thanking everyone. I hope Steven and his computer can make amends.

During the last song of the evening, Puciato grabs a guitar to jam out the finale of “Apocalypse Morning.” I don’t even notice that a real drummer showed up behind the band. This song is what I want every Black Queen track to feel like. Alexander kicks over the prop amplifier, as Greg climbs a stack of amps to force feedback from his guitar before hugging all the front row and thanking everyone. I hope Steven and his computer can make amends.

THE BLACK QUEEN

Photos: Megan Kor

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

 

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