|Out Of The Blue
Publications Association, LLC
Live Shapes For Arms 2014: Skinny Puppy
Industrial pioneers continue to make a mark with artistic live show in Detroit
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| After forming Skinny Puppy more than 30 years ago, duo Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key proved Wednesday at The
Majestic Theatre that they remain leaders of the industrial music genre--if it wasn't Ogre's spot on deep cryptic vocals
and Key's unmarred live backing soundtrack, then it was the original trademark theatrics.
As a performance artist, Ogre paced the smoke-filled stage with spider-like movements while making obscure hand
gestures and using on-stage props that included a forbidden Pandora's box, a dog statue, a hazardous waste
symboled umbrella and a knife, which he used to self-inflict wounds on his left hand and arm. At one point Ogre
portrayed a crazed, ghoulish scientist with green and blue glowing vials of potion. Robert Louis Stevenson's split
personality character of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came to mind, with the evil of Hyde dominating the good of Jekyll.
Looking through a series of nightmareish horror-film-inspired masks, Ogre kept his eyes on the crowd with focused
attention while transforming into different characters throughout the show. Sporting a ball cap and standing elevated
on a platform behind his electronic gear, Key performed without costume.
Compared to previous tours this performance seemed less controversial and had less gore, but without a doubt it still
made a meaningful impact. Interpretations were open for the well-received center stage scenarios that aligned with
Skinny Puppy's outspoken lyrics to address political policies, gun glorification, the environment/pollution, censorship,
chemical warfare and animal cruelty/animal testing/vivisection, along with other controversial topics and current events.
Throughout the set a large backdrop screen projected distorted designs mixed with color variations and flashes of
horror film stills. On stage a separated screen displaying artistic patterns stood close to a black-and-white split screen
security camera monitor ('big brother').
Touring in support of the band's 12th studio album Weapon (Metropolis Records), the Vancouver group performed
new tracks including "saLvo," "tsudanama," "plasiCage," "illisiT," "solvent," and classic favorites that included
"Choralone," "Worlock," "Deep Down Trauma Hounds," "Pasturn" and "First Aid."
An unmasked Ogre returned to stage greeting the packed standing room venue of black-wearing 'puppy people' and
'EDM lovers' for an encore performance that included "Assimilate," extending the performance to around two hours.
Fans of legendary Skinny Puppy have a right to be proud. For three decades the band continues to do what it does
while maintaining underground success outside of mainstream markets, and they continue to evolve with each release.
This latest tour proves that Skinny Puppy is far from defunct or irrelevant... they just keep getting better.
Skinny Puppy recently garnered attention for sending the Pentagon a $666,000 invoice, charging the Department Of
Defense for using the band's music to torture Gitmo detainees. cEvin told CTV News: "I am not only against the fact
they're using our music to inflict damage on somebody else, but they are doing it without anybody's permission."
The group stated their goal isn't to make financial gain from the incident, but to denounce the use of music for abuse at
the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. According to reports, prisoners are strapped to chairs and forced to listen to
loud music on repeat for hours or days on end. Reportedly included on the "Torture Soundtrack" are also Metallica,
AC/DC, Eminem, Rage Against The Machine and children's songs.
Before Skinny Puppy took over the stage, the dancey dark electronic sounds of Army Of The Universe filled the venue.
Similar to Bile with touches of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, the electro-industrial band performed tracks from their
latest album The Hipster Sacrifice and 2011's Mother Ignorance. The lineup featured KMFDM drummer Andy Selway.
One of a kind, original industrial shock rock act Skinny Puppy continue their 30-city "Live Shapes For Arms 2014" Tour
through early March. See Dates.