When hometown punk rock heroes The Black Lips play in Atlanta, you can always guarantee that it’s going to a wild time. On Friday, July 21st, the band returned from their latest US tour behind their recently released eighth studio album, Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?, to play a hometown show at Variety Playhouse with friends TnT and Subsonics.
Really, let’s be honest, any show The Black Lips play is going to get a little crazy whatever city the band is in. And Atlanta is well versed on how to do a Black Lips show right. This night featured it all as soon as the Lips took the stage. The beer started flying, the pit got wild, and the crowd knew that the Variety Playhouse staff wasn’t going to stop what comes natural at a Black Lips show. Throughout their entire set, crowd members jumped on the Variety Playhouse stage and either dove back into the pit, or took a trust fall back down to ride the wave all night. The Black Lips set included confetti and the crowd surfing never stopped the whole time.
On Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?, released via Vice Records and produced by Sean Lennon, founding members Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley teamed with former guitarist Jack Hines (who played in the group from 2002-2004) and recent additions Oakley Munson on drums and Zumi Rosow on saxophone. The new lineup didn’t disappoint in Atlanta. It was obvious that Jack Hines, despite his 13 year absence, never lost the touch he and his former bandmates crafted in the early 2000s. The newer members fit in perfectly with the band’s raucous set while adding their talents to the lineup.
Opening the night was TnT, friends of The Black Lips that regularly play and host rock ‘n’ roll karaoke at one of the Lips favorite hangouts, Southern Comfort Bar. The husband wife duo of guitarist Tommy Lee and keyboardist Tammy Renee blasted out hits from artists like Grand Funk Railroad, Johnny Cash and more. They even played one of Tommy’s “hits” from the late 70’s/early 80’s. The duo kicked the night in gear with a lovable set that rocked the house and had all the young punks singing along to classic rock songs they’d never admit they love, or have never even heard.
Second up on the night before the Lips took stage were one of Atlanta’s best band’s over the last few decades, the Subsonics. There isn’t anyone who holds the band in higher regard than The Black Lips themselves, who are not only friends, but big fans. The Subsonics bring an avant garde touch to their garage rock, delivering punk aesthetic with post punk noises to their subversive sound. The old school fans came out to Variety Playhouse in droves to see the local legends, before The Black Lips blasted off on stage.
Check out Mike Gerry‘s photos from The Black Lips show at Variety Playhouse: