Words by Simon Russell-White
Pix by SquirtyG
First off, The Triffid, Brisbane really is a treat, the reason for it NOT ‘being so subtly tucked away in depths of Fortitude Valley’ is due to its instant gritty attractiveness the moment you enter. It’s staple for the Brisbane music scene and yet again it proved to be a quality venue to make more musical memories with friends and mutual fans alike within it.
Tonight is a celebration of a band that has set their own trend for over 40 years and have never made any apologies for it, in fact they flat out refuse to do so!
L.A’s own Suicidal Tendencies are a culture and sound that is all of their own, being so deeply ingrained that when it’s ST time, the die hards know what’s up and what’s about to go down! But first…. we must kick the night off.
It seems like yesterday I witnessed tonight’s opener Krave at a skatepark show in South Brisbane hosted by my music family the Schema Collective. The charismatic three piece caught my attention within an instant that day, and now fast forward they fittingly share space with punk/ metal royalty!
From the get-go Krave launch into their set delivering a heavy rock pumelling, they simply demand your attention not only due to their stage presence but on a musicality level as well. Singer/ bass player Siana moves from tremendous high and low end melody to a abrupt fry screams with ease, the three piece just have a way about them and to say that Krave is in short supply of emotion should be a crime. They simply projectile motion it, and to think this is one of the band’s first ever international supports! Jeepers the future is bright for this band!
This is the second time I’ve seen Krave live, and honestly it’s obvious why they’re here, from the overall performance/ stage moves and of course Ryan’s (Guitarist) beautiful long hair they hold it together well from beginning to end. The drummer with his ‘Grug’ like hair is a faceless assassin who delivered a smooth and eclectic rhythm, to me there’s nothing better than a good rhythm section and for this band it’s absolutely vital! The three pieces sound is huge tonight, Sian’s voice carries like few others do with songs like Alchemy and Midnight being a couple of crowd faves!
Some free advise, try to catch this growing and developing band a.s.a.p cause’ if things go the way I think they’re going to go we’re going see Krave headlining much larger shows very soon, so get into that front row while it’s a little easier to do so hungry punters.
Next up, Mannequin Death Squad, a two-piece from Melbourne. An intriguing setup beforehand as what’s perceived as the guitarist, Dan sets up his gear meanwhile drummer Elly sets up her gear respectively.
This is the first time I’ve seen this band, and just prior to their first song something cool took place! The members swap instruments and launch into what can be described as a mixture of L7, The Distillers and Paramore with a very angelic yet gritty vibe about it.
As a two piece it was going to be hard to match the sonic sounds of the three-piece prior to them, though they held their own well, Elly is a phenomenal guitar player, one the smoothest guitar players I have seen in a while in fact, with Dan on drums they were simply solid, then out of nowhere the members switch it up…. again.
With no actual separation in the musicality, this saw both members talents gleaming, and this certainly shone through….. but a different feel did occur depending on who was on each instrument. This also made for something different, something unique, and in a world full of (to quote Trent Reznor) ‘copy of a copy of a copy’ it was refreshing to see live.
This is clearly a partnership that involves trust and that trust was clear from afar not only on a musicality level but as a rounded unit, what a solid effort their set was!
Make sure if you’re in any part of the world and are after something a little different, something unique and something just straight up cool then check out Mannequin Death Squad.
I live my life through no expectation, to me expectations are flawed way of thinking but one can’t help but preempt an idea or two of what tonight was going to be like and as the almighty Suicidal Tendencies approach stage this diverse crowd, all varied in age, (a lot in which were bandana clad and/ or sporting the famous suicidal cap) we were collectively cranked and ready!
Suddenly the main man himself Mike Muir (vocals) appears in all his glory, as a 60 years old man he looked in great shape and sounded bloody amazing!
To think not far from Mike stands Tye Trujillo, the seventeen year old bass player, you might have heard of his Dad who not only is a former bass player of Suicidal Tendencies but now plays in the almighty Metallica. Of course, I’m referring to the one only Robert Trujillo. His son brought the thunder and it was cool to see him living his teen dream live in full H.D!
Close to Tye stands founding member, (or close enough to) Mr. Dean Pleasants (Guitar), who like Robert and Mike, was also part of the side project known as Infectious Grooves who has actually been a member of S.T since 1996 which surely solidifies him as an absolute ‘OG’. Dean is, glue, plain and simple.
Obviously I was excited to finally see Suicidal Tendencies but when I heard that Ben Weinman (Guitar) of the Dillinger Escape Plan had joined the band, I kinder lost my mind. You see that band changed my fucking world, they were a band that spoke my language, I know it sounds cliched but this A.D.H.D motherfucker was super pumped to see this version of Ben!
Not only can this guy play guitar like a maestro but can do it while mid-air and will seek any obstacle on stage to launch off, hang off whatever he can find.
One of coolest things to watch during this tremendous set was when Mike was spitting truth bombs between songs, reminiscing about/ recalling life on the streets of L.A back when cops quote unquote “didn’t have cameras” was watching Ben’s face as Mike went on and on, you could see him lapping up every word spoken!
Last but not least new drummer Greyson Nekrutman who kept things rolling the entire time making it an absolute juggernaut of a set, running through most of the tracks from their Self-Titled album 1983’s album Suicidal Tendencies the quintet played other iconic tracks like the infamous Cyco Vision from the 1999 album Freedumb.
This track was later in the set (thank fuck) as it alone near crystalized the venue. Back to the album we’re here to celebrate, the stand outs for me were I Saw Your Mummy and I Want More.
There were thrills and some spills as S.T finished the set off in style with Institutionalised which found Ben atop the bass rig as the other guys kept off to the side as it was time for every crowd surfer that was willing to jump onto that stage and with no hesitation Mike launched into the most famous lyrics of the band’s 40 plus year career.
If Suicidal Tendencies ever come back around again I’m going to make sure I hit every date possible. They have become so ingrained, they’re not only proving to the world that they still kick ass but they’re also solidifying their part in musical history!
S.T for life baby!