Suicide City @ Highline Ballroom (8/5/2009)

Logo - Suicide City

Artist: Suicide City
Venue: Highline Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: Hate In The Box
Date: 8/5/2009
Label: The End Records

To celebrate their signing to The End Records and the release of their debut recording “Frenzy”, New York Punkers Suicide City would make a special appearance at the Highline Ballroom and this super affordable show would give their fans a night of music, sideshow antics and all sorts of other craziness all for under $15. There would be a total of four bands on this evening and while Suicide City was essentially the main attraction tonight they would go on second in order to take advantage of the night and get to mingle with their fans that had come out to help toast this brand new album. Before the music began, well the live stuff I mean, we found the talented folks who make up the Cirque Du Rock doing some of their things for a very curious crowd.

Cirque Du Rock: The club had a DJ spinning music and video and I believe his name was Chris Landry and his work this evening would find me discovering that people actually mixed videos. I had never thought such a thing was doable but I guess that anything is when you set your mind to it. The emcee was NC Shuva, who also would be performing in the band PUI a little later as he was part of its roster and before he talked we found the lovely Justina on the stage and doing some amazing things with her hula hoop that was all loaded with lights. It was quite sexy and makes you look at the thing as not something purely for the kids anymore. She sure made it look easier than it had to be because I remember as a youth not even being able to make that thing spin around once without falling to the ground. I never tried again since there is a little more for the thing to go around nowadays but I digress. Justina would lead us into the Hate In The Box set and after they had performed we found the incredibly exotic Heather Holiday on the stage doing her sword-swallowing routine. That particular act always made me cringe as I envision the person cutting themselves open but I am sure that with the level of practice and expertise that they put into it the whole thing becomes as easy as pie. Now let’s talk about the music since this is why we were here. I just wanted to give folks a little more background on the whole Cirque part since I found it so fascinating. We would miss the snake charmer Mistress Serpentina but I am sure that there are other events where we shall find them making appearances.

Hate In The Box: If memory serves me correctly I was at a Wednesday 13 gig in Brooklyn, NY a couple of years ago and at this show I had met a very interesting singer who told me her name was Rainbow Blight. She gave me a flyer for a performance that was coming soon and sadly while I would be unable to attend I made sure to remember the name for future reference. Fast forward about two years and here we are at the Highline Ballroom getting ready to enjoy a set of their material. They call their brand of music “Candy Coated Horror Rock” and Ms. Blight is the epitome of everyone’s Gothic Lolita dreams. She exudes energy during the show and to easily describe what she looks like, it is best to imagine that a toy doll has come to life and is performing in front of you. The full lineup of the band is Optimus Crime who handles the keyboard synth-axe and also engages the crowd quite a bit. Teddy Kreuger is on guitar and on the foreboding side in terms of visual. He sports a hat much like the famous movie serial killer and only takes this off when Rainbow needs to dispense candy to the audience from it. I had no background in their songs but shall be looking more into them going forward. I was not sure who was joining the band on drums and bass but they did have an additional two players in the lineup this evening. It was a very visual set in terms of how they would do things tonight and while there are no real stage props that would be used during the gig the band did really play to the audience and was going over very, very well. I would see them again. This evening was special for the band as they were celebrating the release of their own new CD called “Under The Ice”. Now it was time for Suicide City to take the stage and there were a few more folks in the venue that seemed to be in place exclusively for them.

Suicide City: I caught Suicide City a few years ago when they had released the EP “Not My Year”. To my knowledge it was a gig that was happening very early in their career and this was done at a small club in Brooklyn that was hoping to be the next L’Amour for the region. Sadly this would not be the case and the club would soon close never to reopen again. To read that article you can click HERE. I found some of the things that they did as a band to be very interesting and how could one not since collectively speaking they feature members that once worked with both Biohazard and Kittie. Given this fact the band has quite a few reputations to live up to and this could attest for the over the top level of energy that they deliver for their fans. So as we said, they have recently signed to The End Records and released their debut full-length CD called “Frenzy”. Based on the level of energy that the band hit the stage with you could had to tell that they were excited about this great event. If this is your first time hearing about them, well you have some catching up to do and now with the new CD you have a great chance to do it. When the band hit the stage it was clear where Ms. Jennifer Arroyo was and then guitarist AJ Marchetta, but where on earth was Billy Graziadei? He was nowhere to be found this evening and while I could not confirm the reasoning I had heard that he now lived on the West Coast which made being at this gig a little tough since it was a one-off as opposed to a full on tour. While this was a little bit of a disappointment for me, I had to say that there would be no shortage of electricity thanks to the efforts of singer Karl Bernholtz and the rock solid drumming of Dan LaMagna who rounded out the lineup.

The crowd was eating the show up and how could they do anything less based on how much it was coming at you from the stage. Literally the band bounded around and across the stage and occasionally its members would do flips which one does not see all that often on such a small stage and during the whole show they continually egged on the audience for participation. This was a total adrenaline rush and made me happier by the second that I had decided to come to this particular show. The band’s new CD had only come out the day before and to the audience’s delight the set list would feature about six of the numbers from the recording. I had to admit that the tunes sounded strong in the live sense and the band impressed me quite a bit. In addition to the kick ass set we got a drum solo from LaMagna which was a nice treat and then a big surprise as violinist extraordinaire Lourds took the stage to help out on the song “Undone”. She is an amazing player in her own right and not only fronts her own band Lourds but is part of an all female super project with Arroyo that is called Chick 6. I was happy to find her receiving a positive reception as well since I enjoy her playing and come to think of it, Lourds actually was one of the openers when I first saw Suicide City way back at that early gig. The band did one of their crowd pleasers with “Fuck Your Dreams” and would close out with “Cutter” making this thrill ride of a set something that would leave their friends breathless at its end.

After the set the band wandered about and talked with the fans and while we hated to move on and miss a couple of more acts and some additional sideshow activity we had been here for this set so felt that our work for Metal was done this evening. Watch for the band as they support their new CD and be sure to order a copy via the provided links or download mediums, the legal ones of course, to make sure that The End Records realizes they made a good move by signing the band. Good luck Suicide City and also to Hate In The Box. You both rocked this evening.

HITB Set List:
1. Porcelain
2. Malevolent Symphony
3. Pins and Needles
4. Out of Reach
5. Fractured
6. Sunday Best

Suicide City Set List:
1. Give me your Pity
2. Diemonds
3. Chemical Fight
4. Sex and Dying
5. The Best Way
6. Painted Horse
7. Burn
8. Drum Solo
9. Undone (Lourds Lane on Violin)
10. Fuck your Dreams
11. Cutter

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3 thoughts on “Suicide City @ Highline Ballroom (8/5/2009)”

  1. Very nice review. I’m glad that the band seems to have won you over after your initial hesitation. They are very deserving of the praise you gave them as their live show is so much more than the sum of the parts each member contributes; it is truly an experience rather than simply a “show”. I hope all who read this show their support to both the band and the endeavors of this humble (right…) author.

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