Grinderman Bring Evil to the Best Buy Theater

I hope you’ve had an opportunity to listen to our October 2010 “Recording of the Month,” the evil and often hilarious Grinderman 2. On Sunday, I got to see the band play at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square. (The strangeness of seeing Grinderman perform at a place called “Best Buy Theater” is surpassed, albeit slightly, by the fact that the show took place on a Sunday, the Day of Our Lord.)

The band tore through fiery numbers from the new album as well as 2007’s eponymous debut. “Kitchenette,” “Palaces of Montezuma,” “Worm Tamer,” “Heathen Child,” “Evil,” “Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man,” and other sex-drenched, metaphor-whipped, hip-shakers spanned the set, which took place in an hour that felt like a minute. The encore was half as long, but perfectly satisfying.

The sound was outstanding, though I did scurry out (like a wee mouse) halfway through the first song to purchase a set of earplugs from the kind people at the coat check. Despite how much I enjoy listening to Grinderman's vinyl album at home, on my hi-fi, experiencing a live performance of the music proved, in some ways, to be so much more gratifying. This has nothing to do with the inadequacies of hi-fi as compared to the concert experience, however, but only speaks to the power and beauty of certain live music performances. The two experiences are very different.

Interestingly, despite Nick Cave’s compelling performance, it was Warren Ellis who stole the show. The freakish, bearded sideman toted electric bouzouki, Mandocaster, violin, something like a horsehair whip, and lots of maracas; he whirled about the stage and dropped to the floor and kicked to the sky and reminded me, somehow, at once, of Jimi Hendrix and Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

In the crowd, nearby women went absolutely berserk when the band played "No Pussy Blues."

My face is finished, my body's gone
And I can't help but think standin' up here in all this applause and gazin' down at all the young and the beautiful
With their questioning eyes
That I must above all things love myself.


Thanks to YouTube member, lunajadeX, for this footage of the band performing “When My Love Comes Down.”

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Nick's picture

Did Art Dudley join you? ;)

michaelavorgna's picture

> and reminded me, somehow, at once, of Jimi Hendrix and GollumPerfect.

DavidB's picture

After too many years of using foam earplugs (and then pulling them out a bit at a time until I reached some kind of compromise between going deaf and being able to hear the band I paid to see) I finally sprang for a pair of Hearos. They are a hard plastic gizmo with soft rubber flanges (like the ones on Apple's in-ears) that cuts the dbs evenly across the frequency range so music sounds like music but is still safely attenuated. I cannot recommend them enough, I wish I had gotten them years ago. I almost went to see Grinderman but decided to leave my memories of seeing The Birthday Party in 1982 unsullied. Now I wish I had gone.

john devore's picture

I've been using the Hearos for many years, 12dB atten model, and I'll agree with DavidB, they are great. The days of wadding up napkins and cramming them in my ears are long gone.

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