Skinny Puppy Marquee Theatre 1/27/14
"Do you like Skinny Puppy?"
It's a question that was posed to me at a warehouse rave somewhere in the Midwest in the late '90s by a fellow wearing combat boots, black BDU cutoffs, and long black dreads atop an otherwise shaved head. He had a CD with him and asked if I'd buy it for $5 so he could buy some bottled water.
It was the Remix dystemper album and my first exposure to Skinny Puppy. Now, almost 16 years later, I finally got to see them live. And I didn't even have to drive hours to do so -- just a quick journey to Tempe's Marquee Theatre for Monday night's show.
Remix dystemper was gold to me. At the time, I was listening to a lot of hard electronic music and just getting into experimental noise. When I got to hear more Skinny Puppy that wasn't a remix, it just kept getting better the more I listened.
Unfortunately, my attempts at tracking down a live show would be in vain since they had broken up a couple of years earlier, a major disappointment at the time. Monday night's Marquee Theatre show, however, wasn't.
It proved to be a rather intimate show, with about 400 fans in the venue. It was certainly good for everyone in attendance since there wasn't a bad spot in the house while still allowing for plenty of dance space for those who like to shake their coochies.
Although the stage wasn't littered with mounds of grungy props and decorations like I'd hoped, there certainly was no shortage of things to see.
Justin Bennett beat away on the drums and was hard at work in his booth pumping out tunes while Nivek Ogre sang and danced around in the lights while playing with knives, changing costumes a few times and just doing what he does best: entertaining in a deliciously creepy way.
The set list for the evening was a great mix spanning from their entire career which started way back in 1982, before there was a genre labeled as "industrial." Tracks from Skinny Puppy's most recent album, 2013's Weapon, meshed perfectly with their earlier works, showing that the evolution of the band hasn't taken them far from their roots.
Or is it the other way around and their early works were just golden enough to seem ahead of their time? Doesn't matter. What does matter is that after 30-plus years, Skinny Puppy still produces great music, puts on a great show and is still a major player in the world of dark electronic music.
I certainly look forward to seeing them again, only without another 16-year wait.
"illisiT" "Village" "The Choke "Wornin" "PlasiCage" "Deep Down Trauma Hounds" "Worlock" "paragUn" "Hexonxonx" "Tsudanama" "Pasturn" "saLvo" "First Aid" "Solvent" "Far Too Frail" (encore) "Glass Houses" (encore) "Smothered Hope" (encore) "Overdose" (encore)
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.