So the Sex Pistols reunion tour. I admit it, I'm a sucker and I shelled out $47.50 to check it out. Being born 5 years too late, I figured this was my one chance to check the Pistols out live for myself. Finally see what all the fuss is about. Not to mention the one and only Dropkick Murphys were opening.
So I get to the Jones Beach Amphitheater and the first thing I notice is how empty it is. Not even close to being half way filled. Ticket sales were so poor, in fact, that they issused a buy 1 get 1 free ticket sale for the past few weeks. I guess Johnny Rotten doesn't have the drawing power he would like to think he has.
Reverend Horton Heat opened up with a rather lackluster performance. Not that anyone noticed. Only a few hundred people had gotten to their seats by this time and it's safe to say that most of those weren't there for RHH. In general, Reverend Horton Heat was basically nothing more than a distraction to everyone's conversations. If you're into psychobilly, you might wanna check these guys out, but the popular preference tonight was definitely not towards psychobilly.
Next up were the Dropkick Murphys. This was my 10th time seeing them and, despite being confined to a chair, easily one of the best. They opened with "For Boston" and went right from that into "Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight". Seeing as it was New York, I was disappointed they didn't make a corny blackout joke afterwards. Either way, kids gradually starting making their way up to the front as the band went into "Upstarts & Broken Hearts", "Barroom Hero" and "Caught in a Jar". Quite a way to begin a performance. Everyone made the best of the situation as they sang along and danced in the little aisle space there was.
However, they then played 6 straight songs off of Blackout. Not taking anything away from Dropkick, but Blackout is probably their weakest album. So you can imagine how sitting through 6 straight songs off of it was.
Highlight of the set was during "Time To Go", a song written for the Boston Bruins, when an Islander fan started taunting the band. They didn't miss a beat, however, and played the entire song while getting in this poor guy's face and giving him the finger. And a big "the Islanders fucking suck" right before the chrous. All in good fun I suppose.
After that, they closed with a cover of a song I have never heard in my life. I hate leaving out things like that in reviews, but no one seemed to know what song it was. The band got off stage and that's when something strange started happening...all of the kids who were singing and dancing for the Murphys began slowly disappearing. They were being replaced with balding men in their mid 40's and their overweight wives. I mean that in the nicest way of course. Besides, as a whole they made for much better than crowd than Dropkick had.
Eventually, the Sex Pistols came up on stage opening with "Bodies". My first observation? Wow do they look old. Glen Matlock looked like he was right out of a cock rock band as he swayed his hips with the music and winked at the women in the front row. Steve Jones and Paul Cook, not suprisingly, made up the backbone of the band as they provided the only real talent the band ever had. Johnny Rotten was....well...Johnny Rotten.
He strutted around like he was King Shit. He blew 2 of the biggest snot rockets I've ever seen in my life onto a security guard. He cursed. He acted obnoxious. Everything you would expect Johnny Rotten to do. And each time he was greeted with a 45 year old round of applause. The crowd ate it all right up.
In a classic Johnny moment, he stopped "God Save the Queen" after 2 lines to state the following:
"We spend all this time writing these classic songs for you, and that's the response we get?"
When the song was restarted (with a much louder crowd response), he ended up forgetting the words and having Glen Matlock take over.
All in all, yeah the Pistols were entertaining, but no way where they $47.50 entertaining. Not to mention I still don't get all the hype. I guess it's like one of those jokes you had to be there for to find funny. If this tour comes to your city, it's worth checking out if you get cheaper seats than I did. The Dropkick Murphys are a great live band that are perfect for an arena and I guess the Sex Pistols deserve an hour of your time. But you WILL feel like you're doing it out of respect and not out of desire to see a good band play.