As they did last year, Suicidal Tendencies put on a pair of shows Halloween weekend at the Garden Amp. For those that were in attendance last year and survived the carnage, you knew this year would be even wilder as the band celebrated the 40th anniversary of their seminal self-titled record.
As expected, both shows were completely sold out. Saturday’s show was to be a “Cyco Thrash Night,” but Sunday was pure “Cyco Punk” and the fans brought it just as much as the bands did that night.
The first act of the night Venice’s own Ottto, a band heavily influenced by Suicidal Tendencies, and for good reason. Their bassist and backing singer is none other than Tye Trujillo, the current bassist for Suicidal.
His father Robert was a longtime bassist for Suicidal, and has been the bassist for Metallica for the last two decades.
Much like the night’s headliners, Ottto show signs of pure metal, such as their opening song, “Dance of the Dead,” but can just as easily get into slow funk, such as the intro for “KBAS.”
Trujillo is an exceptionally talented bassist and his thick grooves underline just about every one of their songs, backed by the heavy metal pipes of lead vocalist Bryan Noah Ferretti, who also plays a traditional thrash-metal style of guitar. Triko Chavez provided some solid drumming on “Ride Low” and “My Pain.” The trio finished their impressive set with “Skyscraper,” which got the crowd riled up for the night’s festivities.
The New York hardcore legends Agnostic Front led with “Victim in Pain” and a vicious circle pit immediately began, swallowing everything and everyone in its path. “The Eliminator” featured a heavy double bass drum solo by Danny Lamagna, followed by a metal-inspired guitar solo by a Craig Silverman. Repeatedly lead singer Roger Miret said he wanted a New York-style mosh pit, which was three different pits – one on the left side of the floor, one on the right, and one dead center.
The crowd was only so happy to oblige as they split into three pits for the brutal “Toxic Shock.”
Miret announced that he had been battling cancer for the past three years (he is in remission following surgery and a long hospital stay), but that, “If it wasn’t for you motherfuckers, I wouldn’t be alive,” stating how he read every single text and email fans sent him.
He dedicated their cover of “Crucified” to those very fans.
Lead guitarist and sole founding member, Vinnie Stigma climbed off the stage and went to the very back edge of the pit. Stigma continued to play while complete chaos circled around him for “Friend or Foe” without losing the toothpick in his mouth.
Stigma, looking like a mohawked Vinnie Jones, got back on stage and took lead vocals for “Power” featuring another great solo by Silverman. Miret sang “from the East Coast to the West Coast” and the crowd followed up with the lyrics of “Gotta Gotta Gotta Go.”
For the last song of the night, Miret dedicated their cover of “Bliztkrieg Bop” to “Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy” for if it weren’t for them, “there would be no punk, there would be no hardcore, and likely no metal.”
As promised, Suicidal played their self-titled album in its entirety, though not necessarily in order. They started with the opening track, “Suicide’s an Alternative / You’ll Be Sorry,” and then lead singer, Mike Muir said he did something that some people would consider a bad thing. He announced, “I shot Reagan!” as the band kicked into “I Shot the Devil.”
The band launched into “Subliminal” capped by a gnarly guitar solo by longtime guitarist Dean Pleasants, followed by a thumping bass solo by Trujillo.
The newest member of Suicidal Tendencies, Greyson Nekrutman, is just 21 years old, yet his breakneck speed and complicated technique really shine on “Memories of Tomorrow” and “Two Sided Politics.” The band is rounded out by rhythm guitarist Ben Weinman, formerly of The Dillinger Escape Plan.
At one point, he asked the crowd to lift him up as he stood on their hands and played the intro to “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow?”
Muir told the story how his older brother, James Muir, was a member of the legendary “Dogtown and Z Boys,” considered to be the pioneers of skateboarding in the ‘70s. James told him, “When you fall, get yo ass back up,” which is a great metaphor for life. This led to “Possessed to Skate” which featured a sick bass solo that went directly into a nasty guitar solo, eventually leading to yet another bass solo and back to a second guitar solo by Pleasants. Muir said he wanted to see “this whole floor erupting” for “Cyco Vision,” which featured frantic, but brilliant drumming by Nekrutman.
A special moment took place when Muir brought Tye Trujillo’s mother, Chloé onstage as it was her birthday. He then invited Tye’s sister, Lullah, and then Robert graced the stage and the entire family hugged as the crowd cheered loudly.
As the band got back to business, Muir invited fans onstage as people quickly mobbed the stage filling up any free space. Weinman climbed onto the top of his amp and played the intro to “Pledge of Allegiance” and fans chanted, “S.T.!” He jumped down onto the drum riser while never missing a single note.
Finally, as sheer anarchy and violence had taken over and the stage and pit became one large mass of rabid fans, the band began playing their swan song, “Institutionalized.” Weinman running out of room, once again climbed his amp where he played most of the song, before finally diving onto the crowd that had gathered on stage and began crowd surfing over their heads.
When all was said and done, it was easily the best – and craziest – show I had ever seen grace the Garden Amp. It only makes you wonder what Suicidal Tendencies could have in store for next Halloween.