Even though I wasn’t particularly impressed with “The Perfect Cult” (read review here), the same can’t be said about the gig I saw of its promotional tour. It had been almost six years since I’d last seen DEATHSTARS live (see here), so yeah, there was also a bit of that I’m-finally-seeing-them-again feeling to it. But it was their… maturity that deserved the extra kudos.
From the new album they played the title-track, the first single “All The Devil’s Toys”, “Temple Of The Insects” (which started the show), “Explode” and “Fire Galore” (the first of the encore), where Skinny mentioned the bus fire they’d escaped of barely two weeks before (I think they were done with Dante after the DeathSyndicate tour, so I guess they’re just unlucky when it comes to buses). The rest of the set was a joyride through their discography, with a balanced number of stops in each album, including the single “Metal”, featured in the compilation “The Greatest Hits On Earth”. “Cyanide” and “Blitzkrieg Boom” wrapped it up.
The make-up has been toned down and Whiplasher‘s feather boas are gone. Even the Gestapo-like hat he put on near the end of the show wasn’t his, he borrowed it from someone in the crowd (not sure if he gave it back, but I guess he did). And I can’t remember seeing Nightmare smiling so much. No, wait, let me rephrase it – I can’t remember seeing Nightmare smiling at all on stage. Somber and menacing had always been part of the deal, of the image. But now playing music and having fun is clearly the goal.
Even the teasing is just a remnant of what it used to be – apart from Whiplasher kissing a male roadie and saying something like “see you in your parents bedroom” when waving goodbye, the most provocative move would be a cocking hip here and there. And still it was probably the best DEATHSTARS show I’ve seen so far – I’ve always been a fan of their flamboyant darkness but I’ve also believed that there was much more to them than just a sexy attitude. It feels good to be right.