SF Weekly's Hiya Swanhuyser hit last night's Slits show at Bottom of the Hill, only to inform us this morning that there was a celeb in the crowd. The groundbreaking female act from the early days of punk has had an impact on another groundbreaking female in the modern punk world: Gossip's Beth Ditto, who--along with guitarist Brace Paine--hit the Slits gig, only to be kinda mobbed by happy Gossip fans. (Gossip was in town to also play a show last night, over at Mezzanine).
The Gossip showed up in the audience. The. Fucking. Gossip. Sweet force of nature, Beth Ditto is gorgeous. She had short pink hair, tons of eyeliner, and An Aura of Stardom. She looked a little freaked out. And sure, she was mobbed by fans who were understandably grinning like monkeys, but not too much. We hope we did not freak you out, Beth! We hope that the love of San Francisco is not worse than the attention of British tabloids! Brace Paine was there too, looking like an international superstar but walking around like a guy who was just excited to see the Slits. I didn't see Hannah Blilie, but maybe you did.
As for the actual show itself, Hiya writes:
The show opened with a two-woman powerhouse band called Sassy! in which the drummer/singer was wearing a full-on white rhinestoned Elvis jumpsuit with her flowing Afro. I also had my first experience (I know I'm late to this party) with the Go-Going-Gone Girls, who, holy shit, are a John Waters movie come to life, like the Devil-Ettes got drunk and decided to sing like mean rock 'n' roll teenagers, backed up by the Dead Kennedys' Klaus Fluoride on guitar.
The headliners, who changed rock music forever with "Typical Girl" and other early punk-lady songs of ferociousness, are still so mighty! The current Slilts lineup is the original hurricane of a lead singer, Ari-Up, whose looped dreadlocks and huge voice got everyone's eyes wider, plus the original bass player Tessa, who looks like your mom and plays like your loud neighbor kid's entire garage band put together, plus a young drummer and guitar player who are both maniacally talented. Ari-Up often demands 'more bird sounds!' from the audience; this is a big plus in my book. And she likes to show her belly, also a thumbs up. And she staged fake fights with everyone onstage during "Fight!" and encouraged the audience to start a mass melee.