Last Night: Butthole Surfers At The Granada Theater

Categories: Show Reviews

The Butthole Surfers, The Golden Boys, Nervous Curtains
Granada Theater
October 22, 2008

Better than: Fighting the flu while listening to Psychic....Powerless...Another Man’s Sac.

Download: (UPDATE) Check out our slide show from the show with photography by Hal Samples.

gibby.jpg
Gibby Haynes, the son of Mr. Peppermint. (Hal Samples)

Halloween is still a week away, but all the freaks came out early to catch a reconstituted Butthole Surfers last night at The Granada. Featuring the classic line up of Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary, Jeff Pinkus and dual drummers Jeff King Coffey and Teresa Taylor, the legendary art punks plowed through their early songbook, playing fan favorites such as “Creep in the Cellar,” “Cowboy Bob” and “Negro Observer.”

The packed house roared after each and every cut, and the band sounded surprisingly focused, especially considering the members haven’t had a lot of practice time.

And when the band hit its stride during “Cherub” with Gibby singing through a megaphone, it was a magic time machine back to 1988.

Seaking of flashbacks, I guess the Granada decided to revert to the city’s smoking policy pre 2000. There was so much weed being lit up in the place that my contact high was better than the pain medicine my dentist gave me when my wisdom teeth were yanked. And with the three screens showing three different videos (although nothing as extreme as the penis reconstruction films of the past) and the fog machines and strobe lights going full throttle, the sensory overload factor was definitely high, too.

Whatever the backdrop and stage trappings, though, the Butthole Surfers proved that they remain a sight to see--a vital, historical, scatological punk nightmare.

After a rather conventional cover of REM’s “The One I Love” to close out its main set, the band quickly returned for a three-song encore. And, yes, of course, the band finished the night with “The Shaw Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave.”

When guitarist/vocalist Paul Leary screamed out, “I smoke Elvis Presley’s toenails when I want to get high,” the crowd sensed that the night was about to end. Two hours of Surfers was all the debauchery necessary for the disaffected of Dallas to go home happy.

Critic’s Notebook
Personal Bias:
It’s been nearly 15 years since I last saw The Surfers, and that show was a big let down. I remembering telling friends how outrageous Gibby and crew were, how they showed penis reconstruction films while the band played, how they set the stage on fire, etc. But when those things did happen, it was like a movie you’ve seen a few too many times, a scripted form of anarchy, a funny story that loses it’s oomph the fourth time it’s told.

Random Note: Before, during and after all three bands, many milled around outside, braving the dropping temperatures. Inside, one young lady looked as if she might want to buy a T-shirt--but instead fell face first into the table and then flat on her back. Several Granada employees helped her to her feet only to see her collapse again. The guy standing next to me said, “You better not move her.” Yet moved outside she was and, shortly thereafter, the young lass regained consciousness. Admitting to quickly downing four beers prior to the show (intervention anyone?), some pizza and water seemed to bring the color back to little Ms. Binge Drinker.

By the way: Both opening acts offered quality music in divergent genres. Local guy Sean Kirkpatrick and his band Nervous Curtains mined an interesting Nick Cave/cabaret vibe while Austin’s The Golden Boys rocked in a manner closer to the headliners. For those with good memories (i.e middle aged geezers), The Golden Boys recalled the greatness of Green on Red and vintage Meat Puppets. The quintet was that good; so good that I plan on doing some seriously downloading after washing my clothes. God knows if that scent will ever come out. --Darryl Smyers


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