Posted in metal | music | pictures on April 11, 2014

Photos by Greg Cristman; words by Klaus Kinski

Godflesh @ Irving Plaza 4/10/2014
Godflesh
Godflesh

There is no way I can adequately describe how stoked I was to see the Godflesh tour at Irving Plaza last night (4/10). I was nearly catatonic with frenzy; exhausted from excitement and impatience for the show. Since about 1991, Justin K. Broadrick has been a personal hero of mine. Through all of my musical and personal-stylistic phases, from metalhead to poseur punk to hardcore dork to rude boy to skinhead to motorcycle enthusiast, Justin K. Broadrick and all his various projects are one of the few things I have carried with me lo these many years. My first and only time seeing Godflesh was as a 13 year old, 70 pound, pint-sized mullet head in 1992 at the now-defunct but endlessly important Club Babyhead in Providence Rhode Island. That show was in the days before I even remotely considered wearing earplugs and will go down in history as the loudest, bassiest experience of my life. I remember having to retreat to the back of the room because the bass was vibrating my body so bad I wasn't sure if I'd end up puking or crapping my pants. I regret passing up every subsequent opportunity to see Godflesh, so last night -- which itself was postponed from October -- was years of waiting come to fruition.

Pharmakon
Pharmakon

Now that Godflesh is a completely independent entity and no longer bound by the whims and oversight of a label, the two opening acts felt more carefully curated than obligatorily tacked onto the bill. The first opener was Pharmakon, a one woman onslaught of industrial dirge and ear splitting terror. The brainchild of New York City native Margaret Chardiet, Parmakon was a very crowd-polarizing act. Pharmakon plays extremely loud and chaotic beats and textures accentuated by Chardiet's brutal, from-the-guts screams. Some people were clearly not impressed. For me, though, it was a phenomenal experience. I watched her set with my friend Kurt aka Submerged aka the guy who owns and operates OHM Resistance, and we were both floored. She isn't for everybody, but it sure as shit tickled the fancies of me and Kurt. Her set seemed really really short, and when I saw her afterwards I asked why her set was so short and she said she was having some technical difficulties. And that's too bad. I could have listened for hours.

After a brief intermission, the next act up was Cut Hands, a one man electronic act featuring legendary noise master William Bennett. For the uninitiated, Bennett founded Whitehouse in the UK in 1980, a band who was at the forefront of the experimental and noise scene for 27 years before finally disbanding. Although known as a godfather of noise and experimental music, I found his set last night to be extremely cohesive and easy to get hooked into. It was sort of a bastard child of classic-era Underworld with a dash of darkness, violence, and physical abuse. Accompanied by a series of incredible projections, his semi-dancy set had the entire room transfixed and, I don't know, sort of.... dancing? As dancy as a sausage-fest can get I reckon. But people were way into it. I was way into it. The inclusion of Cut Hands by Broadrick was such a great nod to the era when Broadrick was starting to bloom in the Birmingham underground scene with bands like Napalm Death. I feel lucky to have been able to witness such a master at work.

After Cut Hands and what had to be the easiest and fastest stage changeover, two-man sonic powerhouse Godflesh took to the stage. As the house lights dimmed and fog began to rain down from the heavens, Broadrick and Green turned up their guitars and filled the room with a growling, feedback laden wall of sound that lasted for about three minutes. Suddenly a projection appeared at the back of the stage, a programmed cymbal counted off 4 beats and then... KABOOM! Godflesh exploded into one of their most legendary tunes "Like Rats." I thought the place was going to implode.

Let's face it; I am a dork with a penchant for nostalgia. When I say I was anticipating this moment for years, I am not exaggerating. That opening explosion of Like Rats signaled the arrival of one of the most important shows of my life. And the setlist they put together was plucked straight out of my dreams. "Christbait Rising," "Streencleaner," "Spite," "Mothra," "Avalanche Master Song," "Defeated," and "Crush My Soul" all made the playlist of the evening. The technologies the band uses has changed considerably over the 20+ years since I last saw them, but the crossover has not changed Godflesh's signature sound one single iota. Benny Green's bass tone is as crushing as it ever was. All the beats sound exactly as they did all those years ago, and Broadrick's vocals are as devastating as ever. A video of "Like Rats" from last night, plus pictures from the whole night, are below. Unfortunately, Godflesh live is really only adequately experienced... well... live. No video could possibly capture the volume and uber-heaviness of their performance. Last night's show was a flawless triumph. End of story.

Tonight? Carcass.

If you need more Godflesh, be sure to tune into Invisible Oranges show on East Village Radio this Tuesday (4/15) at 10 PM EDT where they'll air an exclusive interview. In the meantime, more pics and video from Godflesh's Irving Plaza show, below...

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Godflesh - Like Rats @ Irving Plaza

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Comments (38)

The natural progression is as follows...
metalhead to poseur punk to hardcore dork to rude boy to skinhead to motorcycle enthusiast, to hummus eater.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 3:29 PM

You are so right about Sony forcing them to play with shitty bands in the past. I saw them in LA in 1994(?) and System of a Down opened. That was the most whatthefuckiest lineup ever.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 3:36 PM

No disrespect but Klaus seems like that kind of guy you always feel like you want to just punch right in the face.

Maybe I read him wrong but he seems like that guy who thinks he knows everything and his word is the last word on things. The self deprecation is a mask to try to come off as being humble

A by product of the Internet age where information on everything is readily available and not so smart people can fake being smart.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 3:37 PM

Dear 3:37,

You definitely read me wrong, but I am glad my shitty writing can elicit violence in you. Next time you see me, by all means, step-up and start punching.

Love,
Klaus, The Smartest Man in Earth.

Posted by Klaus Kinski | April 11, 2014 4:08 PM

I'm just curious how 3:37 means no disrespect. Are you sure you didn't mean to say "Hi Klaus, this is going to be disrespectful"? Because I think you'd have to be either a moron or a pre-pubescent girl or stuck in 2005 in order to use "No disrespect" like that, and you don't sound like a pre-pubescent girl or someone who can time travel.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 4:16 PM

Klaus, I know what you mean. By far Godflesh IS probably the loudest band I've ever seen. No joke, seeing them at the Wetlands, I had to leave about 7 songs into their set as it was just too much. My insides were shaking. And yeah, I had that puking feeling too. Unbelievable.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 4:16 PM

Oh sausage, what a drag it is gettin' old ....

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 4:18 PM

I actually didn't find the show to be as loud as when I've seen Swans. I loved Pharmakon too (as any self-respecting Throbbing Gristle fan would), but you're right, some of the audience seemed perplexed.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 4:55 PM

I felt they could have turned it up a lot actually. I was surprised at how NOT loud it was.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 5:23 PM

Funny you should mention the Swans ...

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 5:25 PM

Have you ever heard the food processor at Mamouns? That is seriously loud too!

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 9:13 PM

Old sausages can't understand why the ringing of the ears and the twitching of the sphincter continue despite the glory faded from those halcyon days of yore

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2014 9:40 PM

Young sausages dont feel a thing cause they have farm raised hummus coming out of their sphincter.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 7:21 AM

That show was the shit. Pharmakon was ace wish there was more glad to know why not. 3:37 gonna get the "there are no cameras inside the cells, you know?" treatment.

BEN GREEN = HERO OF BASS.

Posted by Kurt Submerged | April 12, 2014 9:15 AM

I want to know how many gallons of cum that chick from speedy Ortiz had to swallow to get famous lol

Posted by BOBO | April 12, 2014 10:41 AM

This was a perfect show!

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 12:03 PM

Where's Tallbro?

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 12:13 PM

3:29 - I actually didn't see that coming, bravo hahaha

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 12:40 PM

Giant Bro prefers music shows to this nostalgia puppet show

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 12:49 PM

Trends come and go, but there will always be a place for black longsleeve metal shirts with shit printed on the sleeves.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 1:12 PM

You were honestly impressed by Pharmakon's set full of technical difficulties? I was genuinely looking forward to seeing her as an opener but with the looping issues, the wires cutting out signals on her, and her mixer levels being off here and there, it was a little short of phenomenal. Hopefully, she'll have a better set the next time she has an audience of that size.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 1:30 PM

Bespectacled dude's booking flights and checking stocks. Not fooling nobody, mister.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 2:29 PM

Almost May and no sign of a new album. Whats another 13 years if its been that long anyway?

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 5:01 PM

i expected the place to explode when like rats started.

instead everyone kind of shuffled around and held up their phones.

what a joke.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 7:48 PM

Is TALLBRO playing drums in Young Sausage?

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 9:31 PM

9:13 -I am still laughing at that one

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2014 9:44 PM

Wow not one relevant comment about the show on the thread? You fucking trolls! Godflesh was awesome. Missed Pharmakon. Cut Hands not very good. I'm pretty sure he was watching House of Card on Netflix on that laptop, while the backing tracks played through Itunes. This photo http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/gc/cuthands/irvingplaza/cuthands-7.jpg is his reaction when he gets to the end of Episode 11 in Season 2.

Posted by Eric | April 12, 2014 10:14 PM

Wow not one relevant comment about the show on the thread? You fucking trolls! Godflesh was awesome. Missed Pharmakon. Cut Hands not very good. I'm pretty sure he was watching House of Card on Netflix on that laptop, while the backing tracks played through Itunes. This photo http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/gc/cuthands/irvingplaza/cuthands-7.jpg is his reaction when he gets to the end of Episode 11 in Season 2.

Posted by Eric | April 12, 2014 10:15 PM

9:44- At your own previous post? How sad.

Posted by Anonymous | April 13, 2014 1:47 AM

Played street cleaner, and cried out my window for Jesus 911 WTC few blocks away from inside job.

Posted by Truth1 | April 13, 2014 5:22 AM

Cut Hands was a washed up, dirty old white man... his music and visuals were exploitative... at best. Borrowing from "afro" cultures as he calls it, pretending his lame ass show was a ritual... the cheesy and shitty visuals of a silhouette of a stripper... pathetic, disgusting, distasteful, extremely annoying. It seemed to me exactly to be tacked on by the cornball, greedy, corporate ticketmaster venue that is Irving Plaza.

Godflesh was amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | April 13, 2014 1:31 PM

1:31- Cut Hands wasn't my thing, but Jesus Christ, grow the fuck up. The republic won't fall if breasts are bared. And yes, Godflesh were amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | April 13, 2014 11:34 PM

That was "Monotremata," not "Defeated."

Amazing show, though I found the openers to be pretty underwhelming. I found myself really wanting to see Pharmakon again, though.

Posted by Bill | April 14, 2014 11:52 AM

Nice to hear from the Commissioner of the PC Police @ 1:31. Don't you have a graduate seminar in an English dept to attend?

Posted by Anonymous | April 14, 2014 6:38 PM

pharmakon was so fucking lame and i am so glad there are so many photos to commemorate william bennett checking his email

Posted by Anonymous | April 15, 2014 9:50 AM

Chick was hilarious. Dude with computer was tedious. GODFLESH, yup.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2014 9:24 AM

went to the show at the fonda godflesh was bad ass wanted to buy a concert t-shirt but they ran out of xxl size. do u know where i can buy one?

Posted by alek torres | April 25, 2014 4:26 PM

Love Love Love

Posted by KaylaJean7809 | June 2, 2014 6:56 AM

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