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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Throbbing Gristle's at Brooklyn Masonic Temple - 1st NYC Show

Somewhere out in the nether regions of Brooklyn’s developing, Ft. Greene, fans of industrial music gathered at a local temple to give praise to the genre deities, Throbbing Gristle. The crowd was of a varying type based on age and attire, which showed some faces you would not normally see at a local scene function, but there they were. Along the way it felt like you were seeing ghosts of various eras in the local Industrial/Goth scene. In short, they were all out to see Throbbing Gristle return to East Coast, USA after nearly 28 years.

In the range of the eleven o’clock hour, one by one, the band comprised of their original lineup, made their way to their positions on stage and quickly started up the set to the booming applause from the several hundred in attendance…and the houselights never went off. It was as if we were supposed to all be looking at one another enjoying the performance as the funeral dirge droned and screeched on for the next hour plus. Sonically, TG, hasn’t faltered in age and carried on with an execution that was parallel with any other of their past achievements and was faithful to themselves as well as the listeners even when they were unfaithful, but gloriously, in altered renditions of past favorites. Case in point: ‘Hamburger Lady’ with Cosey toting a horn into the mic and in turn adding another dimension to the sound of a descent into Hades. All the while the band maintained a true air of no posturing. Even with a show person such as Genesis P-Orridge, the emphasis was on the sounds and not the visuals. Then suddenly in the abyss you recognized the lyrics to ‘What a Day’ in the middle of what you thought was another new and likeable song. The crowd loved it all.

Quickly thereafter, ‘Discipline,’ another well received re-vamp, would prove to be the one that really whooped a number of fans into a frenzy as they hopped, gyrated and shook their fist in the air to the sporadic primal beats coming off the stage with Gen shouting along. And yet throughout the set, TG was not afraid to favor some latter day material, which fit quite nicely in the flow, with selections such as ‘Almost a Kiss’ and ‘Endless Not’ complimenting the distance between the next classic track.

When it was over the crowd applauded Chris, Sleazy, Cosey and Gen lavishly before exiting the theatric setting in the temple to re-enter the peaceful spring night air and hopefully were aware that they had just seen a little piece of music history.

~ Jon Prusik

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