{mosimage}WASP, LIZZY BORDEN, INTENTIONAL RAGE, FIFI LARUE
at the Key Club, June 4

A
metal parody band opening for the bands it parodies
was either an
inspired idea or an unfortunate accident; either way it was fantastic
entertainment. The blackshirt audience kinda went “Huh?” throughout the
set by sexy tub-o’-lard Fifi LaRue and his whitefaced cartoon crew;
meanwhile I was laughing my head off as bellower LaRue dismembered
mannequins, pulled “Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s baby” out of a tiny
coffin and demanded the return of the ‘80s.  Short guys in platforms Andy Monic (bass) and
Marcus Sin (guitar) churned the unexpectedly craftsmanlike
Priest-meets-Dictators songs, and provided goofy visual counterpoint to
horned crimson drummer El Diablo and the droolworthy Lanel Roxx, whose
one-finger keyboard “work” was as perfect as her spaced expression.
Brilliantly stupid concept.

The transition to the serious metal
of Intentional Rage ground the ol’ gears, but clarity soon dawned:
These burly Simi Valleyites in cargo shorts (“Hecho in Mexico,” read
the shirt of lead barker Wray Gould) have got a lot of engine under the
hood. Their riffs truly rock, and drummer Patricia’s murky thrashing
made for a Raw Power-like chemistry. You gotta like a band that can
ignore formula and build a strong machine from available parts.

Back
from his side project Starwood, Lizzy Borden has reclaimed his skull
masks, strippers and beloved hatchet, just like it was 1987 again.
Wrangling a searchlight, wrapping himself in a flag, screeching through
a rubberized TV screen, he made a spectacle of himself as few can. And
let’s not forget that he’s still got a voice made for flayed melody, a
raft of military-strength material from “There Will Be Blood Tonight”
to “Me Against the World,” and a band (led by guitarist Ira Black) that
totally shreds. You pay, L.B. delivers.

Okay, I’ll quit
complaining that WASP don’t play their fine newer material, and just
lie back and let Blackie Lawless rape me. The smoke. The lights.
Lawless’ ever-evolving crazy-spring mike-stand skeleton perch. A new
drummer and six-stringer (Mike Dupke and Doug Blair) with an ammo dump
of chops, energy and control. Anyone who didn’t get chills from the
dark rampage of “Wild Child” or the balladic agony of “Sleeping in the
Fire” just doesn’t like rock, and we all appreciated a rarely played
early selection, the spooky “Widowmaker.” It’s essential that WASP
close any bill they’re on; when they drain you, you stay drained. Up in
the balcony, a geisha fanned a dead couple. They died happy.

I ordered a burger, and it came with ketchup. I never eat ketchup. Tonight, what the hell, pour it on.