The night started with actress cum rock star Juliette Lewis and her band, Juliette
and the Licks. Their hearts were in the right place, and the singer wasn’t
too hard on the eyes, but the music just wasn’t there.
Sweden’s (International) Noise Conspiracy, while not as nice to look at, definitely brought the rock. I think indie and emo have scared real rock out of America, and all of it went to Sweden.
As good as the (I)NC was, there’s no way it could have reached the peaks of Turbonegro’s show. From the moment the band came out in their various costumes, the audience knew they were in for a treat. I hadn’t realized before that there are three guitarists, a little excessive for the punk-edged throwback rock it plays, but Turbonegro is all about excess.
Over the course of about 19 songs, the group gave a truly epic performance. Confetti and dollar bills with the band’s faces on them (in a nod to AC/DC) were shot out. Frontman Hank von Helvete riled up the crowd and taught us some Norwegian curse words. During "City of Satan," the album-art backdrop was pulled aside to reveal a crazy battle scene backdrop. The band played such favorites as "Don’t Say Motherfucker," "Blow Me (Like the Wind)" and "I Got Erection."
Even with all that, one encore wasn’t enough; Turbonegro needed two encores, changing clothes in between each. During the final encore, balloons were dumped on the audience and one of the guitarists performed a solo while crowd surfing. The band could have gotten away with a third encore, but had to end because the theater turns into a dance club on Saturday nights. I don’t see how any club could be nearly as entertaining as Turbonegro, but it was pretty funny to see the band’s fans mingling with the Hollywood hipsters outside. They can have their trendy clubbing; I’ll take sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll any day, and that’s exactly what Turbonegro is all about.