August 7, 2008
Review and Photos by Kirsty Evans
There aren’t many bands like Wednesday 13 around any more. At one point there were quite a few of them – The Misfits, Alice Cooper, The Cramps – but most of them have faded away over the years, leaving only a few to carry the spider web-encrusted torch for fun, silly horrorpunk.
It’s a shame, really, because these kinds of shows always draw a great crowd. Last night at Slim’s was no exception. The crowd were almost as much fun to watch as the band - I haven’t seen this much fishnet and this many mohawks in one place for years.
Note that I said almost. As fun as the audience was, they still weren’t nearly as entertaining as the band. Wednesday 13 play a sort of old-school blend of horrorpunk and glam rock that is guaranteed to put any listener with the right sort of temperament in a great mood. Laugh your ass off during horror movies? Get gleeful during the parts where other people start to clutch their date’s hand or bury their head under the covers? You’ll probably like Wednesday 13. This is a band that once did a tour called “Look What The Bats Dragged In." Boring they’re not.
If you’ve never heard Wednesday 13, think of a sort of modern-day Alice Cooper (cool, 70s Alice, not embarrassing middle aged golf-playing eighties Alice) with a bit of an eighties LA metal edge. They’re loud, they’re obnoxious in a fun way, and they’re deliciously campy. I mean really, “I’m the blood in the ice cream cone” (from the song "B-movie Babylon")? That pretty much sums it up. It’s horror in the way that Elvira is horror – a little bit lewd, a whole lot silly, and the audience is always in on the joke.
They were in fine form last night. Frontman Joseph Poole was his usual energetic eyeliner-drenched self – a sexy raccoon – and his current back-up band was pretty solid too. They worked their way though songs from several different releases, but the highlight was definitely their cover of Tom Petty’s "Running Down The Dream."
Wednesday 13 sound a bit more metal live than on CD. Which isn’t a criticism, just an observation. I found myself looking at the bass player and thinking that he wouldn’t have looked out of place in LA Guns circa 1988. You never know, you might see him fronting his own band some day – Wednesday 13 has always been sort of a training ground for people who will later go off and do their own thing. It’s like School of Rock, but with adult men in really tight black pants! Much more fun that way, really.
I could have done without the moshing, honestly, but then I’m not 18, and I have expensive shoes that I don’t want trampled. Also, could someone please explain why the roadie was wearing a suspiciously BSDM-looking mask while setting up? Was he a member of the band in disguise? Whatever the reason was, he fit in with the overall campy theme.
If I tell you that the show closed with the song “I Like To Say Fuck” does that pretty much sum it up? OK, so it’s childish – bite me. Get it? Bats, bite me…oh, never mind. You had to be there.
Honestly, this was the most fun show I’ve been to in a long time. It just goes to show, you may be able to drag the girl kicking and screaming out of the Manic Panic store, but you can never quite take the goth out of the girl. For which I am eternally thankful.
Personal Bias: I love all thinks spooky, silly and altogether campy. Clearly this is influencing my judgment in this case.
Random Detail: Spent a good part of the show listening to other people in the audience discuss which band members they would most like to sleep with. Thanks for sharing, guys!
By The Way: Did you know that Wednesday and Mrs. Wednesday created a line of cartoon characters together? One assumes they’re suitably spooky.