SHOW REVIEW: Violent Femmes
La Luna, February 2, 1998 (Portland, Oregon)
Who else but the Violent Femmes can go from "Jesus Walking on the Water" to "Dance Motherfucker Dance" and entertain an entire sold-out LaLuna crowd with such energy and enthusiasm?! It was incredible. Not only was LaLuna sold out WAY in advance of the show, but the entire crowd seemed to be having the time of their lives!
This was one show I had been waiting a very long time to see, and I was surprised to find out they were even touring at this point in their careers. I guess with the resurrection of '80s music, it was inevitable - and a pleasant surprise. They did, however, leave out a few of their more political '80s tunes (such as Old Mother Reagan).
I found the show to be a joy, the kind of show that you don't want to end. Gordon still has that boyish charm and beautiful devilish grin, and I was disappointed that they didn't perform "Gimme the Car", but I guess we are all getting older and perhaps they didn't want to be singing "come on dad, gimme the car tonight" at this point in their lives. But, it didn't stop them from doing all of their other great tunes, like "36-24-36", "Black Girls", "Kiss Off", "Add It Up", "Blister In The Sun", etc.
I really wish I could remember the names of the other people on-stage with them that night on sax, clarinet, and even a local Portland guy - but I was too busy drinking beer, singing, and having a GREAT time! (I do believe Gordon mentioned that his sister was doing some back-up vocals!)
The Femmes seemed to take us on a roller coaster ride of different sounds, such as the "back woods" feeling you get from songs like "Country Death Song" , some good old fashioned punk, and some downright funky little numbers thrown in for good measure (do I recall a "Jetsons" tune from the old cartoon show?!).
It was "American Music" at it's best. From the opening sounds of the Didgeridoo.... to "Kiss Off" - the Violent Femmes were "Gone Daddy Gone"!