LIVE REVIEW: Suicidal Tendencies & Madball – 9/21/18 @ Gas Monkey Bar n’ Grill, Dallas, TX

Are you still psycho after all these years? You sure as hell are if you braved the flash floods that drenched Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday night. The eight inches of rain that fell Friday night into Saturday morning made history (the rainiest September on record). But, that didn’t stop the die-hard Suicidal Tendencies fan base from rocking their balls off at the Gas Monkey Bar n’ Grill. Rain and lightning scratched local openers Leroy the Prophet from the bill, but some time after 9pm, the show finally got under way.

Amazingly, very little rain fell during New York City Hardcore stalwarts, Madball’s set. The band took advantage and ripped through a searing set that drew on material from across their discography. High-energy seems like the simplest way to describe the bands set. Vocalist Freddy Cricien was constantly moving. That’s to say he was running from one end of the stage to the other, banging his head, jumping up and down, and giving shout-out’s to his band members. And the band behind him shredded relentlessly. I’ve never seen the band live before and they truly impressed me. Their sound and energy is perfectly suited for warming up the crowd for Suicidal Tendencies.

Madball @ Gas Monkey Bar n’ Grill, Dallas, TX. Photo by Corey Smith.

When the bands set finished, the rain promptly began to fall in buckets. Most of the crowd took shelter inside the Bar n’ Grill, or anywhere they could. After 30-plus minutes, many began to wonder if this gig was gonna get cancelled. Drummer Dave Lombardo’s kit and the amps on stage were covered in plastic and flickers of lightning were common. Nevertheless, Suicidal Tendencies were not going to be stopped. Soon, the Gas Monkey staff began covering the floor monitors with tarps and uncovered Lombardo’s kit.

When the band finally took the stage, front-man and key Cyco, Mike Muir, stood behind Lombardo’s kit – where he would stay for the duration of the bands main set. The crowd, rain be damned, made their way to the floor and began chanting the bands name. Muir told the crowd they weren’t going to worry about a set list, rather treat the show as a rehearsal and just wing their set. As they broke into the opening riff of “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” the mosh pit instantly opened up and everyone went nuts. The majority of the crowd was on the floor and simply committed to being soaking wet. A little water wasn’t going to stop them from getting what they wanted. And if this didn’t impress the shit out of Suicidal, I’d be shocked. Indeed, Muir acknowledged the crowd a number of times, often calling them crazy. It was both a testament to the Dallas metal scene and the bands rabid fans.

Suicidal Tendencies @ Gas Monkey Bar n’ Grill, Dallas, TX. Photo by Corey Smith.

The band played a career spanning set that included every song you would want to hear. “Two Sided Politics,” “War Inside My Head,” “I Saw Your Mommy,” “Possessed to Skate,” and “Freedumb” were all received with fervor and word-for-word sing-alongs. Even “Clap Like Ozzy” from 2016’s World Gone Mad had the pit churning. The band was flawless, in spite of the rain. Indeed, Suicidal sounds as vital as ever. Guitarist Dean Pleasants was on fire. Everyone of his leads and solos were amazing. Meanwhile, bassist Ra Diaz made up for Muir’s position at the back of the stage by constantly inciting the crowd. Of course, it goes without saying that Dave Lombardo was great. His membership has injected new life into the band and obviously makes the live performances even more compelling.

The band closed out the main set with “Pledge Your Allegiance,” but it was only a matter of minutes before they answered the crowds call. Muir finally moving from behind Lombardo found himself opposite the stage standing on the merch table for a blistering rendition of “Institutionalized.” Needless to say, it was a moment that perfectly capped off the night. The crowd was completely drenched, yet it didn’t dampen their spirits one single bit. For a show that started late and was hampered by the rain, no one left the venue short-changed. What a crazy night.

J. Kevin Lynch (words); Corey Smith (photos)

click to enlarge photos –


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