What did I witness? As the ominous drawn out intro to 'Domino' played, my friend turned to me and said, “This crowd is about to go off!” And off we went.
I am not exactly sure how to describe The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77
live or what to compare it to. There is a lot of comparison to punk. It might look like that on the surface to the uninitiated but it was glaringly obvious to me that this crowd had no sense of punk’s decades old culture. (I kept thinking about how even AFI, with their hardcore roots, speak out against crowd surfing and in favor of stagedives and headstomping.) There was also the influence, be it good or bad, of resurgent 90’s rave culture. As soon as the beat hit, pretty much any sense of PLUR was vanished. Within the first 15 minutes, I saw two fights and one broken nose. There was also a minor exodus of people moving towards the back to escape the aggro. The crowd actually removed the barricade and passed it overhead to the back of the venue!
The crowd itself seemed pretty normal. No discernable sub-cultural dress. You had your Sunset District Asian ravers and a noticeable ‘bear’ contingent. Is this rebel music for the post-sub-cultural era brought to us by the internet? It makes sense but also confuses me how, like Crystal Castles live, so very very few of the audience members resemble the performers (sans Venom masks, of course).
After the initial aggro, the crowd calmed down a bit. The energy didn’t die down but the violence did. Bloody Beetroots don’t resemble your typical electro dance live ensemble. Most song elements are recreated with live instruments (guitar, bass, drums) with the help of Tommy Tea and some dude in the back with no mask. Dennis Lyxzen came out for a few songs; the remix of 'New Noise' and some straight “punk” sounding joints. As much as Beetroots might incorporate punk and it is picked up by media and the blogosphere, they also ventured into more droning mellow piano, vocoder, and drums jams that reminded me of '31 Seconds' played by Roger & Zapp.
Like Glen E. Friedman
, I am not entirely sure what I saw but it was awesome. It has been a while since I saw a crowd lose themselves like that. I don’t know that this is ushering in some crazy new sound or scene. I do know I enjoyed myself and felt old.