Stabbing Westward offers industrial Rock to San Francisco
at Maritime Hall 3/15/99
By Randy Cohen
On the eve of the release of their new album "Darkest Days" (Columbia), Stabbing Westward sold out the Maritime Hall in San Francisco for what was the much anticipated return of these favorite industrial pop wizards. Stabbing Westward gave the scene the kickstart it surely needed with two fabulous albums "Ungod" and the certified gold "Wither Blister Burn + Peel". After extensive touring with Depeche Mode, Front 242 and Killing Joke, the band honed it's stage skills and managed to integrate some of the best aspects of all the aforementioned bands into their repertoire. With songwriting skills very reminiscent of Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) lead vocalist, Christopher Hall manages to get a room full of people to chant songs of love lost and self-deprecation as if they were singing "...I want to rock and roll all night, and party every day...". Stabbing Westwards latest effort, features the new single "Save Yourself" playing very heavily on radio stations. A video for that song was shot under the direction of Sam Bayer, Chuck Leal and Matt Donaldson (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Cranberries, Mono). Tonight's show was also simulcast on the JAMTV Internet site, and can now be retrieved from their archive. To meet the needs of this aggressive crowd and suffered through a very hot stage that was crowded with Stabbing Westward's massive collection of gear. The crowd was greeted by the fading lights, signaling the onset of Stabbing Westward's set. Immediately setting the pace with "Drugstore" from their new album, this band was in complete control of the crowd. Setting a frenzied pace complete with flashing strobe lights, Stabbing Westward was clearly here to have some fun. The aggressive kick of "Falls Apart" was next as the temperature inside the club continued to swell to a gagging level. "Sometimes It Hurts" was met with great response, surely a great sign for this band, after their successful "Wither Blister Burn + Peel". The psycho guitar-echo of Mark Eliopulos' Gibson SG slithered through "Nothing" from their first album "Ungod" and collided with the Nine Inch Nails-like keyboards of Walter Flakus. "Save Yourself", the new single really got the crowd yelling as they clearly recognized it from current airplay. Stalking the stage like a panther in heat, much to the joy of the girls in the crowd, singer Christopher Hall looked like a tattooed twin of Scott Lucas (Local H). His vocals feature the aggressive scream of today's best grunge acts.
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