Concerts: 25+ Years of Mayhem

PART FIVE: The Third Millenium, AD

Tuesday, July 9th, 2002 at First Avenue
- Downtown Minneapolis, MN

OOPS: The Tour
The Locust, Arab On Radar, Lightning Bolt
The Flying Luttenbachers and Erase Errata


I just got off work in Big Lake, 40 Miles north of the Twin Cities. I drove straight down in my work clothes. Fitting, for the reason I am here is because of a work-related incident.

FLASHBACK: The day before, I am digging some God-pounding DITCH, in 95 degrees and 95% humidity. I am plagued & tormented by the Pestilence of the micro-vampires known as the "Minnesota State Bird". I say to myself, I am a JOURNEYMAN electrician. I am doing the work of a SLAVE apprentice.
I have paid my dues, Baretta. I am going to go sit in the HOT van and drink my HOT, iceless, profusely sweating PEPSI. And I am gonna switch on the only radio station worth half a shit around here, KVSC, from St. Cloud State. After some techno-dribble ends, the deejay says "The next caller wins tickets to The Locust." The Locust? oh, hell YES, Baretta! I am already aware of this event, "OOPS: The Tour". I was just discussing this the other day with my pals on the Voivod Forum. Didn't even realize it was coming to my town.
I called.
I won.
And you can take THAT to the BANK.

click for some REAL 1st Ave. historyAs I entered the darkness that is First Avenue, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of History; The walls were still vibrating with the psychotic resonance of thousands of songs peformed by hundreds of artists. It was like venturing back into my strange era of club-hopping in L.A. (uh-oh) Even more; It brought me into the realms of music played in thousands of clubs by tens of thousands of bands in hundreds of cities and towns; Realms that exist in the memories of Millions.

I immediately sought out someone in the know; as it turns out I am correct. A very kind and helpful woman, Taya Mueller, procured me a handful of informative pamphlets and printings that became my 'First Ave. History Lesson'. The list of bands and artists who have performed here is endless and colossal. It is mind-numbing. This is the first show I have attended in nearly 4 years; since packing it up and moving from L.A. to Minnesota, getting married and spending nearly two years raising an amazing little daughter. It was like I was never away.

And now, the Show:

The first thing I encountered upon entering the depths, was horrid-quality footage of some forgotten (Japanese?) female wrestling matches. Outlandish Kabookis battled it out with Wild Ninja Geishas on two seperate giant screens.
It would indeed be a strange night.

5:40 PM:

I found a table and set up my "gear" (a flyer, no pen, and my smokes) upstairs with the big kids, just up & off to the left of the stage. Then, I was caught completely off-guard... over the PA; my God! Do I hear 'GOD OF THUNDER'? KISS? Have I come full circle?! That was my FIRST-EVER concert, and here I am, two and a-half DECADES later, listening to the same song under light years of different circumstances. Is this the end of the fucking LINE? What a weird feeling that was. It was that moment that inspired me to begin this massive chronicle of concerts you are reading now.
! Drink count: Long Island Iced Tea #1

6:12 PM:

Erase Errata

Takes the stage. Amid only Blacklights. I believe this to be an all-female band, judging by their gender. As they began, the guitarist starts ripping these horrible/ great 'Stretchheads-esque' dissonances. This is a good thing, Martha. (unlike your costly little foray into the world of illegal insider trading) This band, like most of the others tonight, is driven by their bassist. They had a certain Melt Banana quality to them. They played their whole set illuminated by the Ultra-violet light, and they were fun to watch. The guitarist looked kinda like "The Screech Thing" from that terrible classroom sitcom deal on TV, I think. The hair was an afro-explosion, accented by a day-glo headband. The singer sometimes would jaunt into trumpet mayhem, giving us a "Zorn-esque" experience. Spiffy-deluxe.
7:16 PM:

Just before our next entry, another song catches me off-the-guard; Alice Cooper's 'Halo of Flies'. Oh, what an Awesome song that is. It was nice to know people still appreciate great music. Everyone waited for this song to end before proceeding. How very cool.

The Flying Luttenbachers

commence the onslaught, amid strobes & fog. This is a blistering, all-instrumental trio. I think the guitarist has the long-lost top hat that Abe Lincoln bought at the E. Baum convention. Cool hat. Nice hat. (free bowl of soup?) These guys were relentless, aggressive, and had excellent sound. Back to that guitarist. In all my years, I have never seen anyone use their effects pedals by means of implementing their forehead as a tool. Enlightening. The drummer sported a tuft of hair and a tie. Even Bun E. Carlos would be impressed. There was an early Bungle-esque aura here, with a great deal of layering, KILLER bass chords and syncopated , rhythmic interludes. There was much improv, I suspect, with nods and musical cues holding it all together. (A technique also used later, by Lightning Bolt) I was pretty impressed by The Lut boys.

At this point I am now seeking Concensus from the staff and audience members:

1. The scrawny, Cro-Magnon, thickly dreaded 'Guard of the Top of the Steps':
"uh, I ... uh Dunno"

This annoyed me. What a waste of flesh and organs, to have NO opinion of what he had been witnessing here. Worthless. Should be fed to GOR-GOR, while ruthlessly FLOGGED by Sleazy P. himself.

! Drink count: Long Island Ice Tea #2.
(boy I am gonna NEED this one, after dealing with the likes of that guy.

2. The Drink Girl: "Not my type of stuff"
This I could deal with, because this isn't really 'type of stuff', and it could be pretty grating to the average mass-consumer. We'll have to work on her...

3. The guy who sat down at my table, Adam:
"Independent music is miles ahead of the pop culture"

Fair enough, I can certainly get behind this statement.
Adam also added: "Defy Reality"
OK, then...
whatever o'clock PM:

We now are assaulted by

Arab On Radar

At first, I am annoyed, almost very annoyed. They seem to be trying too hard. They are pushing the envelope, but it seems to contain nothing. The energy was for real, though, and they grew on me a bit as the set went on. The music had plenty of intensity, but they lacked the real technical skills required to properly convey music of this nature. I happen to be kind of picky on this subject. The singer was an absolute human catastrophie, reminding me of David Yow on 6,000 different hallucinogens, and a butterknife in the rectum. From what Adam says, this guy was going easy on us, having treated himself to his own feces just a few nights previous. (will GG Allin's ghost EVER leave us alone?) Again, this band was driven by the bassist. (But unless I'm losing muh marbles, there was NO bassist!) I just can't figure this out.
! Drink count: Long Island ice tea #3
(a note: one 12-pack of beer these days lasts me well over 2 months, and two beers usually put me torpid. I am now uhh 'gaining momentum')

This next bit was one of the coolest stunts ever pulled off:
As we were all being tortured by ARABS, a little stand of stacks and a
drumset is all-the-while being set up - right in the middle of the FLOOR!
I did not even realize this. So, the very second the 'Arab debacle' ends,

...begins devouring this hallowed place. WOW. This is nothing more than a small drum set, a half-stack or 2 of amps, a 'Bassist' and a masked lunatic drummer with an unknown headset microphone. Two guys and their equipment, tightly surrounded. A whole audience mezmerized. The sound was primitive, the energy MASSIVE. Vocally, Psycho-drummer boy sounded very much PATTON, kvetching on a heavily effected FANTOMAS I Kick, but this was certainly no rip-off. That fucking Bassist was a phenomenon from outer space. He kicked out CHORDS, and blazing atonal belligerence, and rude FX, and all manner of quantum fretboard chaos. The Drummer kept pace with a vengeance, spewing blastbeats and confounding percussive bedlam. Needless to say, this was GOOD SHIT. Very Improv-ish but certainly structured in their own twin-twisted minds.
Gettin' late for a working guy o'clock:
As Adam, my tablemate concurs, "Locust seers through the air with razor sharp wings"
And 'seer' they did.

...tightly wrapped in matching looney-bargain-bin black stocking suits, take the stage and never give it back. The set itself was much like the songs: abrupt, precise, RUDE, and Snuffleupagus. Yes, Weirdness lives in the music world, I am happy to report.

We must draw a few comparisons now. Take one part DEVO - add 3/4 of a pickle-barrel RESIDENTS - sprinkle lovingly with STRETCHHEADS, and then simultaneously bake your brain and deep-fat fry the mixture in a huge vat of OLD LADY DRIVERS. Extrude the result through a locust-shaped pasta machine and then stuff the whole works into an ANAL CUNT. Viola! There you have it. (Despite all these comparisons, keep in mind that The Locust most definitely have a sound ALL THEIR OWN.) As the show continued along at this most blistering stride, a moment of vapid merriment occured during one of the few breaks - when I, Tangento the Brilliant (after supplementary ! Drink count: Long-neck Budweisers 1 & 2) screamed out yet another of their hi-larious song titles, 'Skin Graft at 75 Miles an Hour'. This was heaved right back in my face with: "We already played that one, ASSHOLE!" To which I replied "Well fucking PLAY IT AGAIN, DICKWAD!". The most impressive aspect of their presentation was that one could look back & forth between the bassist and guitarist, and observe their crazed fingers working in a BLUR, up and down the necks of their hapless instruments - PERFECTLY in cyclotronic, simultaneous precision. Truly a sight to behold, and proof that as raw as this music may seem, much practice is required to actually pull it off this convicingly. Then of course, there are those wickedly euphoric ~cheesy-yet-menacing~ Retro Sci-Fi synth breaks. I am really glad they played 'Gluing Carpet to Your Genitals Does Not Make You a Cantaloupe'. Really, really glad.

In my younger days, I might have followed this thing to Omaha, Nebraska and Beyond.
If this tour ever comes around again, do NOT let it pass you up.
Use the artwork at the top as a link to gain
more info on the tour and all of the bands on it.

It seems there is a bit of history behind this tour:


More Related Links:

Skin Graft Records

The Bands of OOPS: Links Page

To the Concerts Main Page

For the Rest of Tangento's Pages:
(If you are not already in my frames)

OOPS The Tour, First Avenue Minneapolis, Locust, Lightning Bolt, Arab On Radar, The Flying Luttenbachers, Erase Errata, Wolf Eyes, Orthrelm, The Rah Brahs, Quintron, Miss Pussycat, Blood Brothers, Get Hustle, Cooler By the Lake, Cattle Decapitation