Biohazard & Suicidal Tendencies
The Palladium – Hollywood, CA 03/28/09
Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.c0m
Walking into the Hollywood Palladium just past 9pm on Saturday night, my heart was split 50/50. The left side had hope, the right side was full of natural fear. After all, this is LA and Suicidal Tendencies are about to throw down in their home town. I had high hopes for violence, mayhem, disorderly conduct, nudity, a bit more violence, a few beers and of course a few good tunes serving as a backdrop for a full scale LAPD vs. Suicidal fans riot ripe with tear gas, beaten bodies and broken police cruisers. With my camera resting nicely in my boxer briefs, my friend and I hit will call, grabbed our tickets (thanks again Bro) and headed into the recently renovated venue. After checking out The Prodigal Son from the HD TV behind the bar where we had a few quick drinks, we were ready to witness some fucking carnage.
We made it onto the mid floor somewhere around the second song of Biohazard’s set. Having already seen “anniversary” gigs of NOFX and Papa Roach this year, it seemed fitting that lead front man/reality TV star Evan Seinfeld mentioned early on that the band was not only celebrating 25 years, but playing with the original lineup. The bands set was heavy on songs from their early 90’s albums Urban Discipline & State Of The World Address. The Brooklyn natives sounded great and were full of energy running around the stage while busting out hardcore classics like “Black and White and Red All Over” and “Wrong Side of the Tracks”. Seinfeld mentioned how excited they were to return to The Palladium (where they had once played a show with Type O Negative, The Exploited & CRO-Mags) and even welcomed a special guest to the stage. LA native – Sen Dog (from Cypress Hill) managed to get most of the crowd riled up by launching into their 1994 collaboration “How It Is”. From there, Seinfeld and Sen Dog exchanges lines on the Cypress Hill jam “Aint Going Out Like That” which fluently flowed right into a cover of the Anthrax/Public Enemy gem “Bring The Noize”. The band said their goodbyes to Sen Dog (and asked him to say hello to Slash, Cantrell & Morello who were playing the Music Box a few blocks away) as most of the audience cheered for what they were lucky enough to witness.
While most were respectful (a few bone heads were throwing ice and yelling insults at the band), the overall demographic of the show was old. Truthfully, even if they wanted to go crazy, these gritty LA punks are no longer spring chickens and a night in the pit is not what it once was. Clearly, Seinfeld took offense to this. After giving props to Bad Religion and joking that if they wanted their song back, they would have to fight them for it, the band launched into “We’re Only Gonna Die (From Our Own Arrogance)”. The band could not have been more than 30 seconds deep when Seinfeld stopped the song to lash out on the crowd. Informing the nearly sold out venue that the circle pit was invented in Los Angeles, he disapproved of the weak and pathetic attempt to form a proper circle by the crowd. Making sure we all knew he was a reality star who didn’t need this paycheck, he tried to get the circle going by proclaiming that Holland, Belgium, France and a few other European nations kicked our collective asses. Launching back into the song, the pit was a bit larger, a bit faster, but no Paris or Brussels, that’s for sure. The rant even caused some fans to turn, throwing anything they could at the man who makes his living as adult film star when not doing reality TV or fronting Biohazard. Over all, Biohazard played an action packed high energy set. The band (especially the guitar players) seemed thrilled to be back on stage. Defiantly worth checking out if they come through your town later this year.
We headed for the smoking area (where I enjoyed a plethora of second hand smoke options) where we watched security cleaning up the blood of some Brett Favre looking sucker who got his face pounded in. Not 100% sure how it went down, but I am sure the Red Cross is sad that they missed out on a good pint of life. After walking past a very drunk man puking into a trash can we were back down on the dance floor (which was also covered in blood) as the main event hit the stage at 11:40pm sharp. Opening with “You Can’t Bring Me Down” the band was out of the gate and ready to destroy. Within minutes I could tell that this band was much tighter then when I saw them close out the 2007 Sounds of the Underground Festival in Irvine. One would be shocked to know that front man Mike Muir has had two major back surgeries and almost had to cancel the show due to a recent car accident the way he runs around the stage. It is insanity at it’s finest, covering more of the stage than many of his younger counterparts.
As fists flew and women with bare breasts bounced upon their boyfriends shoulders, the 5 piece continued with the musical onslaught. “War Inside My Head” whipped the crowd into a frenzy as I watched one young and bloody Latino quickly exit the mayhem after having his head bashed in. I even took a forearm to the face as I rushed in to capture one of my favorite ST songs “Subliminal”. If it was current Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo who brought the funk to Suicidal, then current bass player Steve Brunner is doing an outstanding job of keeping that alive. “Church of Suicidal” made me want to dance, but then again, I was also the only person in the venue wearing a comic book T-shirt. The man has a great groove and can really thump the four string mastodon as well as any of the bigger name early 90’s funk metal bass virtuosos.
The band never let up. Songs like “Cycovision” and “Fascist Pig” kept the crowd going well past most venues curfews. In between giving shout outs to Fletcher from Pennywise and thanking the rowdy audience, Muir demanded the crowd wish his father a happy birthday, and also had to fight to hold back tears as he shared that his brother had recently broken his neck. The legendary So-Cal act also found time to debut a new song called “Come Alive”. A real beast of a jam, this song should win plenty of new fans for the band as they are about to embark on four west coast dates with Children of Bodom & Lamb of God. The biggest circle of the night of course came during their biggest hit – “Institutionalized”. As he had all night, lead guitar player Dean Pleasants tore it up. As Muir ran around ranting about Pepsi’s a young female had her shirt ripped open by a foul and savage sweat stained drunk. However she did not seem to mind as she grabbed a nice handful or two and taunted the neanderthal with her tongue ring.
During the encore break, the venues security cleared the 50 or so VIP’s who had watched the show from the stage. While a decent amount of people left during the break (it was now 12:45 AM) the hardcore stayed behind as various VIP’s snuck past security and got on the mic and encouraged the crowd to show some love, make some noise and chant ST in unison. The band returned and for their final number invited the whole entire crowd to join them. As body after body charged past reluctant venue security, the band became hidden behind a wall of fans. Girls dance, gang signs were flashed, but most important all were one family in that moment together.
Earlier in the evening Muir had verbally supplied the crowd with a PSA reminding them about events that occurred a few years back at the Olympic Auditorium. Informing the crowd that the saying To Serve and Protect was a lie, he made it known that anything and everything can and will go down well beyond the walls of the venue when Suicidal plays in Los Angeles. However, as my friend and I exited into the early spring morning, the only excitement we found was a girl gushing about her experience on stage. For two blocks while we looked for a cab, I listened in on her tales, being once again reminded the ever so important lesson that no matter who you are or how you play if you are good to your fans, they will be there for you every single time you hit the stage.