Truth: I absolutely knew what I was getting myself into. I’ve seen SHAT before. I also know the venue- Retox- a weird basement that resembles the inside of an airplane that maybe holds 25 people. It’s in the middle of no man’s land SF, which is exactly where I live. SHAT + Retox means it’s gonna be a weird one.
The guy guarding the door said, “Sorry, but I have to charge you $5.” He said it like he was asking for a $100. I’m sure he looked at me and wondered what self respecting woman in her right mind would pay $5 to descend into a pit of shock punk on a rainy Tuesday evening. Yep, that would be me.
Pocos Perro Locos was playing when we made it downstairs. Young latino dudes who could barely play their instruments sang of “Cougars”, “When Sluts Fall in Love”, and a sexual position known as the “Shotgun”. It was rough, but the lyrics where smart, and the guys has some funny banter along the way. And they broke out into a cover of 2 Live Crew’s “We Want Some Pussy”. That’s a winner every time.
45 looonnnggg minutes later the second band went on. I’m not entirely sure how many members Mystic Knights of the Cobra has, but I’m pretty sure they outnumbered the crowd. Fronted by two girls, MKotC crank out some infectious raucous loud punk. Oh, and the guitarist plays naked. Yeah, just shoes, a jacket, and a hat, no big whoop. One of the other members played in his underwear. The rest were fully clothed, I think. But, naked guitar man was a new one for me. Kinda hard for me to look at him playing without my brain shouting “BALLS!”. I wanted to take a picture to share with you all, but it felt kinda pervy. So use your imagination. They have some catchy songs about El Caminos, tranny sex, being a stripper but not making any money, and smoking crack.
Finally, it was time for SHAT. They swiftly set up their equipment, where I notice, they look really normal with clothes on. Then I heard, “I gotta go put on my diaper now”. Minutes later, the band, in their masks, diapers, and dildos, walks down the stairs with a siren blaring, greeting their audience of 10 along the way. They played like they were in front of a packed house at The Warfield nonetheless.
The last time I saw them play at Thee Parkside (apparently they did Woods wrong, as he shouted ‘Fuck Thee Parkside!’ along with making fun of the two e’s at one point), the unsuspecting crowd was generally freaked out and disgusted. However, Retox’s primarily male drunk attendees swiftly devolved into some sort of strip club/locker room environment. They were very loud and rowdy. Lead singer Jeff Wood handled them well, always having witty comebacks and even making up a song on the fly to someone’s remark about a 10 pound 6 ounces baby.
Once again, I’m impressed by this band. Wood and the drummer especially crank out some fantastic punk rock. Wood gets so into what he’s doing that you can’t help but get wrapped up in the intensity of his vocals, even if they are about being a Vagitarian. And the drummer is a tweaked out machine. The band has a great sense of timing, and their songs, albeit short, are laden with hooks and melodies. If only they didn’t sing about fat hoes, tit fucking, crabs, stepping in shit, and abortion, they might be famous.
While less shocking than my first experience with SHAT, it is still one of those bands where I feel a bit weird about being there. But I think it’s important to support bands that are pushing boundaries like this. It’s performance art, and it’s supposed to be provoking.
SHAT performance: 9/10
Mystic Knights of the Cobra performance: 8/10
Pacos Perro Locos performance: 6/10
venue (Retox): 8/10
value ($5.00/ticket): 10/10