BELLA MORTE AT BAR SINISTER (HOLLYWOOD), 7/10/04
Saturday night saw one of the biggest eruptions of raw punk energy ever to grace the stage at Bar Sinister as Bella Morte played a selection of new songs, old favorites, and rarities. After an instrumental introduction by guitarist Tony Lechmanski, lead vocalist Andy Deane jumped on stage as the band launched into “Forever Grey” from the new album As the Reasons Die. With a bright red looming mohawk like the crest of some demonic cockatoo, Deane bounded about the stage, flailing his arms, sticking his tongue out at the audience, and making bizarre facial expressions. It was a little like watching Anthony Kiedis back when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were still ostensibly a rock band, and it was far more entertaining than the usual Glen Danzig poses of so many other deathrock singers. The LA gothic scene in general and Bar Sinister’s regulars in particular have a reputation for being a tough crowd, but Deane managed to evoke some audience participation by thrusting his microphone into the audience so fans could scream along with the choruses of “Logic” and “Where Shadows Lie.” As versatile as they were energetic, Bella Morte proved that their rambunctious stage act was no script; though bassist Gopal Metro broke three strings during the set, the rest of the band managed to keep the audience entertained as he repaired his instrument, joking about their Virginia heritage, launching into an impromptu ballad, and even making a long-distance telephone call to friend and Last Dance bassist Peter Gorritz, who’s currently touring on the East coast. Proving yet again that humor is an asset in this scene, Bella Morte finished their set with a tongue-in-cheek cover of ‘50s classic “Earth Angel” before returning to play a couple of tracks from their Death Rock EP as an encore. This was a great performance from start to finish, and anyone familiar only with the more polished sound of their full-length recordings got to see a very different side of Bella Morte.
Look! There is Matthew Johnson of Grave Concerns to the right of Andy, and between his girlfriend.
Look again, there is Matthew Johnson looking up at Andy next to some girl in white.
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