13th June 2019
Dead Kennedys - European Summer Tour 2019 - Special guests: Catholic Action
Wow, file this under historic gigs: The godfathers of American Punk Rock, DEAD KENNEDYS, were playing the Düsseldorf zakk for the first time in their four-decade history! THE DEAD KENNEDYS were formed in San Francisco, California back in 1978. They were among the first to bands to really test the authorities, provoking a debate about censorship in rock music, which earned them a heightened police presence at their concerts, and had them becoming a role model for the myriad of punk bands yet to come.
Glasgow is home to the Scottish band CATHOLIC ACTION. They have been at it since 2014, and in 2017 they released their debut album ‘In Memory Of’. They play guitar oriented Indie Rock with a very Scottish flavor, being a product of the Glasgow DIY scene. They once supported THE LIBERTINES. Go to https://www.facebook.com/catholicactionband or http://www.catholicaction.tmstor.es to find out more.
Music & Performance
Originally scheduled to appear at 7:30pm, the band delayed their opening until 8pm, as not yet too many of the visitors of the sold-out concert had materialized inside the concert hall, yet. When they kicked off their set, the hall was at least half full. Singer Chris McCroy made a strong “Remain” statement, having draped a European flag under his trademark VOX amplifier, saying that Brexit is something the people of Scotland does not want at all.
Besides the political statement, the music of CATHOLIC ACTION reminded me of the early FRANZ FERDINAND, which is probably due to the Strat / Vox guitar combination they are using. However, the feedback from the audience stayed relatively mute, as it was probably not the music the older audience was digging.
Total: 6.5 / 10
Then it was time for the headliner of that evening. As indicated, the DEAD KENNEDYS have been making music longer than many of us have been around, and their history spans four decades with countless stories to tell. They for sure paved the way for Punk Rock with their debut album ‘Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables’ (1980). https://www.facebook.com/deadkennedys / http://www.deadkennedys.com
Music & Performance
At 9pm, the four members started their set with ‘Forward to Death’ from their debut album. With ‘Police Truck’ the mosh pit came to life, and people did not mind that vocalist Skip McSkipster lost his microphone cable in the action and could not be heard by the audience. The Punk party kept raging on with songs like ‘Kill the Poor’, which Skip sarcastically offered as a solution to Europe’s migration problem, and the iconic ‘Too Drunk to Fuck’ (which has been immortalized by the French band NOUVELLE VAGUE). In the middle of the set also Klaus Flouride’s bass guitar stopped working, so the stage hands really had a lot on their plate that evening. The security personnel on the contrary could enjoy a relatively calm evening, as the action in front of the stage was relatively civil, and almost no people were in the mood to crowd surf that evening.
A large chunk of the people present could dig, when Skip told the audience in his German that he was getting too old for Punk Rock. The main part ended after 50 minutes of playtime with the sing ‘California Über Alles’. But DEAD KENNEDYS came back after a few minutes from behind the stage, and delighted the audience with three more songs, among them the ELVIS PRESLEY cover ‘Viva Las Vegas’, and the band’s uber hit ‘Holiday in Cambodia’, which was no longer marred by technical problems as in the main part. It was during this time that one of the concertgoers managed to sneak past the security, climb on stage, and attempt a stage dive. The only problem was that the people were not prepared for that, which led to him falling to the ground, but it thankfully looked like no one was seriously injured in the process.
The last encore was the track ‘Chemical Warefare’, but after roughly 70 minutes, DEAD KENNEDYS called it a day, and the crowd spilled out on the street into the warm summer night.
01. Forward to Death
02. Winnebago Warrior
03. Police Truck
05. Let’s Lynch the Landlord
07. Kill the Poor
08. MP3 Get Off The Web
09. Too Drunk to Fuck
10. Moon Over Marin
11. Nazi Punks Fuck Off
12. California Über Alles
13. Bleed for Me
14. Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley cover)
15. Holiday in Cambodia
16. Chemical Warfare
Total: 7 / 10
All Pictures by Tanja Schilling