Killing Joke / Amen - live in Los Angeles (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Killing Joke / Amen

live in Los Angeles (2003)

live show

Well…..the night started off horribly. My ride was an hour late to pick me up and there was traffic the whole way there. We didn't even arrive at the El Rey until 7:30pm and the doors were "supposed" to open at 8pm. Luckily, to my surprise and rejoice, when I arrived only 4 people were in line……2 of which I had previously met 2 months ago at the Black Flag "Reunion". So, needless to say, I was psyched.

The doors really didn't open till about 8:30 pm, due to a late sound check by the headliners, the legendary "Killing Joke". So, I get in at 8:30 and proceed to pick a spot directly under the vocalist's microphone….great, right up front and I'm not moving till it's done. So, I wait until 9:30 and finally Amen graces the stage. What happens next makes up for the whole hassle it was to drive down, the money, the bitching, the waiting…hell, it makes up for anything.

Amen hit the stage like a fucking hurricane, those who knew Amen were having a blast…those who didn't and were there for KJ were either utterly terrified or amazed. The audience seemed to consist of many different kinds of people. There were age old punkers, goths, metalheads, young punks, and some people that looked like they walked into the wrong building, dressed in suits and ties.

Casey Chaos must be the most physical singer I have ever seen live, Casey is an absolute MADMAN - by the end of the show he was bleeding (and I'm not talking little scrapes, real blood), he was cut up from damaging himself and rolling around and jumping and a whole lot of other crazy shit. His vocals were right on the whole time, fierce and violent. The band was tight as hell…..even when Casey would attack his fellow members! They played some of my favorite tracks, I don't remember the exact set list, but they played "Justified", "Coma America", "Piss Virus", "The Waiting", "Whores Of Hollywood", a new song "Hello", "Price Of Reality", "Mayday", and "Refuse Amen". Casey made some humorous comments about "Ahnuld" and the local police. I got to sing into the mic a couple times and Casey grabbed me and started singing/screaming in my face. And, to top things off, something rather unfortunate, yet further proof of Casey's commitment to the music and live performance, happened. Casey was jumping and freaking out so much that he fell behind the drums and broke his ankle at the end of the set, making him have to finish the last song while being held up by one of his road crew members.

What I saw tonight was complete and total punk rock anarchy on stage like I've never seen it before, the best show I have ever seen. For fucks sake, Casey destroyed a speaker, knocked a bunch of them on the floor, climbed the walls, broke the drum set…fuck… insanity and I loved it. I was getting flashbacks to videos I had seen of the Germs, Black Flag and other such bands from the early '80's. It was the most violent show I'd ever had the pleasure of attending.

Anyway, Amen was the primary reason I had gone but since I had paid the ticket price and was digging Killing Joke's new self-titled album, I decided to stay for the remainder of the show. After a bit of a wait and a whole lot more people cramming into the tiny El Rey, Killing Joke took the stage. They put on a great show, very tight and direct. They played a lot from the latest album and some older classics as well. It was great but I couldn't help but feel that Amen had definitely stole the show, without a doubt. Nothing really eventful during their set happened, the audience was really into it and everybody looked to be having a great time. Killing Joke played for about 2 hours and then left the stage. I wasn't sure if they were gonna pull off an encore or not, but nonetheless I had work in the morning so I decided to scram. Anyway, I clamored out, called my ride and was off to sleep by midnight. The end of one intense night.