Nekromantix / FreakShow Deluxe

LA Convention Center

April 25, 2008

Could there be a less spooky place for the Nekromantix to play? Even late at night, walking through the parking structure of the Convention Center, through the huge empty hallways, there isn't a bit of menace to the place. You have to feel kind of bad for the band and all of the people who came out to see them in their Halloween-y best, only to end up in a room that probably recently served as the conference room for a convention of time-share salesmen.

While following the sound of some circus music, I did pass a row of the Coffin Girls just coming off of their fashion show. My camera was packed away, so, click the link if you want to see 'em for yourself.

Once in the ballroom, I made a beeline for the cordoned-off beer corner, which was inconveniently placed as far as possible from the stage, as if getting a beer too close to the stage could cause some terrible tragedy.

(View from the beer corner.)

Who knew the Nekromantix were a family show? yet quite a few kids milled around with their cool, punk/goth/rocker parents.

But hey, there is something really charming and – if not exactly innocent – then at least pleasantly comforting about a Nekromantix show. There's a sense of humor, sharp musicianship, and a great sense of theater. They are, of course, the perfect band to launch the Fangoria Convention, much more so than some faux-scary horror-metal band: If it had been some cheap Misfits ripoff who bellowed and howled and spit blood or whatever, I can't imagine it would have been nearly as much fun as Kim Nekro's tattooed, angle-haired group.

The Nekromantix rely on songs about hot-rods, girls and 1950s b-movie plots.

Despite lots of line-up changes over the years, it's still Kim Nekro who rules the stage with his insane crucifix-topped coffin-bass, charging through songs like “I'm a Hellcat,” “Gargoyles Over Copenhagen” and “Who Killed The Cheerleader?”

In the space of a couple dozen songs, the Nekormantix managed to totally overcome the “Ballroom C at the Airport Doubletree Inn” setting. The set ended at midnight, by strict order of some parking lot curfew. Security guards hovered around the doors to make sure no one vanished into the shadows of the building.

Right before the Nekormantix, the members of FreakShow Deluxe put on a cool opening act, led by the Rev. Tommy Gunn. Sword swallowing, skin piercing, and using a sledge hammer on cinder blocks while lying on a bed of nails were among the displays, presided over: You know, all the old sideshow favorites from the boardwalk. Like the Nekromantix, the Freakshow crew loves the retro, and simultaneously pays tribute while trying to update the form.

All photos by Mark Mauer

LA Weekly