Killing Joke brought their 40th anniversary tour to Irving Plaza (pics, setlist, video)
Like so much of the show — from dreadlocked, raggedly dressed bassist Martin “Youth” Glover reminding the crowd of his days spent spinning records at bygone NYC nightspots like Twilo and Tunnel, to the Eighties-goth-night attire favored by a certain sector of the audience — Coleman’s display could have come off as tired, or even a little corny, given that he’s been playing this role since the late Seventies. But instead, Killing Joke’s 90-minute set, part of the deeply influential London band’s ongoing tour to mark 40 years since it formed, felt brisk, urgent, even celebratory, the work of an outfit that’s thriving rather than going through the motions.
The ever-unpredictable Coleman deserves plenty of credit for that. With his shoulder-length black hair, craggy features and long black coat, he looks a little like Gabriel Byrne playing the part of a spooky undertaker. Around half the time he’s onstage, he’s playing up that dark image by grimacing, convulsing in time with the music or fixing the audience with wide-eyed horror-villain stares. But at other moments, as hinted at by the band’s name (which Coleman has said alludes to “the laughter that overcomes all fear”), he’s projecting pure joy: beaming, shimmying in stiff, endearingly dad-like fashion or telling the crowd how good it is to see them again. There’s duality in his vocals too: He’s equally convincing whether he’s crooning a supple melodic postpunk tune in the vein of 1985 Top 20 U.K. hit “Love Like Blood,” which opened Wednesday’s show, or roaring his way through a breakneck riff workout from the band’s later era like “Asteroid.” – [Rolling Stone]
Killing Joke‘s 40th anniversary tour hit NYC on Wednesday (9/12) at Irving Plaza, where Jaz Coleman and the original lineup of the group (Youth, Geordie Walker, “Big” Paul Ferguson) tore through songs from throughout their deep catalog with fiery intensity. PIG, aka the project of Raymond Watts (who’s played with KMFDM, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nine Inch Nails and more), made for a pummelling start to the night. Pictures from Irving Plaza are in the gallery above and Killing Joke’s setlist, and a few fan-shot videos from the show are below.
Killing Joke @ Irving Plaza 9/12/2018
Love Like Blood
European Super State
New Cold War
Follow the Leaders
The Death and Resurrection Show
photos by Greg Cristman