ONE Staff / January 13th, 2010 / Sound Check
SOUND CHECK: Black Lips Spring 2010 Tour

Black Lips

All right, the Black Lips are coming back to San Diego! And they’re coming to a town near you (probably), so we’ve got all the tour dates below the break so you can plan your encounter. But in case your forgot and to protect ourselves from YOU saying that we don’t remember shit, we posted the write up we ran in Issue #9 recounting the last time we saw them play The Casbah. Hoping it’s not too much different when we catch up with ’em on the 24th (minus the moshing, of course). — ONE


Given that the Black Lips have suddenly become the most sought after underground indie band, the first thing that surprised me about their presence onstage at the Casbah was how down to earth they seemed. Gold-grilled guitarist Ian Saint Pé said something like, “Thanks for coming to see us nice Southern boys,” then they launched into their show. There might have been a “ya’ll” in there too. In fact, I’m sure there was. But seriously, that’s how it started. The Black Lips, of onstage pissing and insane antics fame, came on and thanked everyone for showing up, then took control of our audio receptors. For some reason, people felt the need to mosh, a trend I thought was reserved for all-night snowboard industry parties in German nightclubs.

After kicking through a loud, appropriately accurate performance of new-album gems such as “Lean,” “Katrina,” “Step Right Up” and some noteworthy covers I’ve since forgotten, the Black Lips took their sweet-ass time smoking, getting high, or whatever it is musicians do before their encore, but whatever it is they do, the Black Lips must have done a lot, ’cause they let everyone simmer long enough that a majority of the dumbo, mosh pit crowd split. Then they rocked a short encore set before triumphantly departing out the side door.

It was just outside the side door where I encountered bassist and lead singer Jared Swilley smoking a cigarette and looking pretty worn out. It’d been a high-energy show, the fast pace of their furious Southern psychedelia pounding its groove deep into your head, but he seemed quite attentive when I thanked him and his publicist for the ticket they kicked me but let him know that two would have been better, so Wes could’ve been there doing his thing, and that it wasn’t the only thing his publicist fucked up. There was the phone interview where we got a bum number, and yeah, well, the ticket count again, but whatever. Good show.

A moment later we had a round of drinks and some time on the stoop. We talked about the press and how the Black Lips are supposedly the “it” band of the time, a notion Swilley didn’t deny but wouldn’t confirm either. He insisted that the press’ accusations of their onstage antics are exaggerated, but that they all love to party. “Who doesn’t?” we wonder. I asked him what he thought about the mosh pit crowd in the front, smashing all the indie kids and young sweetnesses that had come to see them play. “Shit, that stuff just happens, you know. College towns, dudes who can’t control their alcohol, whatever, I guess they like the music. But really, I guess we’re lucky there wasn’t a fight tonight, though maybe it would’ve made it even wilder!” — JE, ONE #9 (V3N2)

Tour Dates:

(March & April dates w/ Box Elders)

1/20/10__The Detroit Bar__Costa Mesa, CA

1/21/10__Great American Music Hall__San Francisco, CA

1/22/10__The Glass House__Pomona, CA

1/23/10__El Rey Theatre__Los Angeles, CA

1/24/10__The Casbah__San Diego, CA

3/17/10__Neighborhood Theatre__Charlotte, NC

3/18/10__Cat’s Cradle__Carrboro, NC

3/19/10__Black Cat__Washington, DC

3/20/10__Johnny Brenda’s__Philadelphia, PA

3/21/10__Maxwell’s__Hoboken, NJ

3/23/10__Brooklyn Bowl__Brooklyn, NY

3/24/10__Bowery Ballroom__New York, NY

3/25/10__The Middle East Downstairs__Cambridge, MA

3/26/10__Le Studio Juste Pour Rire__Montreal, QC

3/27/10__The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern__Toronto, ON

3/28/10__The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern__Toronto, ON

3/30/10__Magic Stick__Detroit, MI

3/31/10__Beachland Ballroom__Cleveland, OH

4/01/10__Logan Square Auditorium__Chicago, IL

4/02/10__The High Noon Saloon__Madison, WI

4/03/10__Varsity Theater__Minneapolis, MN

4/05/10__Slowdown, Jr.__Omaha, NE

4/06/10__Mojo’s__Columbia, MO

4/07/10__The Firebird__St. Louis, MO

4/08/10__Headliner’s Music Hall__Louisville, KY

4/09/10__Hi-Tone Café__Memphis, TN

4/10/10__40 Watt Club__Athens, GA

For more info:

Photo © 2010 Zach Wolfe

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