After spending a day getting to know the members of TYPE O NEGATIVE, I am forewarning the readers that I am about to write a completely biased review of their October 15th performance in Hollywood, CA., as I firmly believe that they can do no wrong. And here it is…
First of all, much to my delight, they sold out the Palace. I, however, had no doubt that they would be playing to a packed house that night. The line outside was filled with girls wearing black on black on black, as were their dates and friends. There were the standard Goths and the not-so-standard 80’s survivors (victims?) in white, high-top sneakers. The sense of support for them was nearly palpable when you arrived at the venue and permeated the air when you walked inside and once the lights went down after previous sets by Ultraspank, Puya and Fu Manchu, the crowd seamlessly combined into a black velvet blanket of focused intensity.
Complete with metal trashcans that billowed acrid smoke and the creepy green lighting Type O has made famous, the stage set resembled that of a post-apocalyptic Brooklyn, NY and even included a fire hydrant in front of Kenny (in case he got too hot.) The individual band members emerged through the neon green fog that filled the stage and took their posts. Johnny Kelly made himself comfortable behind his green and black sparkle drum kit, (newly purchased for this tour). Josh Silver made his way through to his massive set up at the keyboards. Kenny Hickey physically plugged himself into his guitar and Peter Steele took up his bass and went full-throttle into the first song of the night, which was – surprisingly enough -“My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend.”
The opener concluded and an appreciative roar met the millisecond of silence that followed. This was going to be a damn good night. Unfortunately, we’re talking about Type O Negative here. And good night or not, there is always the dark cloud of doom that relentlessly overshadows this band. There were the predictable ear piercing screeches of feedback, one deafening squawk from the soundboard and at first, there was far too much bass and not enough keyboards but, you know what? I’m not gonna go there.
I was going to try to explain how much pure adrenaline was rushing through every vein in my body when I heard the first chords of “World Coming Down” – the totally epic title track off of the new release. I wanted to somehow express, in words, how nostalgic tears welled up in my eyes while I listened to “Wolf Moon” and “In Praise of Bacchus”. I wanted everyone who hasn’t had the true Type O Negative experience to understand what it is to hear songs like “Christian Woman” and “Love You to Death” when they are being played at the type of volume that makes your scalp tingle. To be able to witness the raw energy generated by Kenny and Peter at either end of the stage while they gave their all to the new material that included “Everyone I Love Is Dead, ” “Pyretta Blaze,” and the single “Everything Dies”.
I wanted people to know how the band can do covers of Creedence or Sabbath or Beatles songs and turn them into signatures as unique as their own songs. I wanted to recreate the feeling you get when you’re seeing everyone around you chanting the lyrics to the instant classic, “Black No. 1”. I had hoped to be able to describe the way your mind would play tricks on you, convincing you into thinking that Josh Silver actually does move in slow motion. What I wanted to do was attempt to explain the feeling and the experience you get from seeing and hearing Type O Negative do what they do best. But, in the words of Peter Steele, “I have failed both all of you and myself.”
Just give yourself one gift before you’re too old. See this band live. Because, in a nutshell, “You just had to be there.”
(Lesa Pence spends her free time dreaming horribly gory and twisted nightmares and trying to figure out how to get them up on movie screens for the rest of the world to be horrified by.)