I arrived at the Lords of Acid’s Pretty in Kink Minneapolis stop just in time to hear opener Orgy’s cover of “Blue Monday.” It turns out that was just the amount that I needed to hear. It was an absolute sonic mess until I got closer to the stage in the middle of the long, concrete room that is The Cabooze.
“Okay,” I thought to myself, “They can be done now.” And just like that, they were! Orgy was a clever inclusion on the Lords’ part on their Kink Tour billing. The same goes for what came next, which sounds like a rejected Roger Hargreaves character, or maybe a “Little Miss Trouble” gone wild.
Imagine a metal-soundtracked burlesque show with lingerie and leather and you’ll have a pretty exact picture of a Little Miss Nasty show. Centered around a wobbly set of three vertical metal poles, four women sauntered, thrashed, and headbanged their way through a half hour show with no less than 20 costume changes. Or, more accurately, 20 different tops thrown over their matching sets of lingerie, garter belts, torn stockings, and heels.
It was a little surreal seeing what appeared to be a military leader tie another Nasty girl up by her hands, shrouding her neck, and slowly stripping around her, flanked by two thrashing, dancing women in gas masks and camo jackets. It was unsurprisingly erotic.
It’s not often that you attend a show that, once concluded, leaves you with a lot of questions. Last night, leaving the Cabooze after the show, it was: was that good? Did I have fun? Was Praga Khan genuinely pissed or was he just playing?
Why don’t we work through those in order. What is good is essentially the definition of subjective. Judging by the enthusiasm of the crowd, it was good enough to throw up a pair of horns in parts and sing along in others. The enthusiasm definitely kicked up a couple notches when Lords started working back through their older catalog.
For certain folks, namely the group of females pulled onstage for the Lords’ cheeky anthem “Pussy,” it looked like they had fun. The lady who dropped trou in response to the chanting chorus of “show me your pussy, show it to me,” she was definitely aboard the fun train.
Sex is not just a theme with Lords of Acid: it is the theme. It isn’t just hinted at or slyly alluded to. It’s yelled at the top of their lungs right up in your face.
Their crude, unashamed approach to sex and sexuality is a big part of what got me into them in the first place. I fit right in with the dominant 30-40’s male demographic at the Cabooze, as I attended my first Lords of Acid show 24 years ago at First Avenue. I can confidently say that that was a good show, though I’m admittedly a little hazy on the details. But that was a different me and, aside from one member, also a different band.
Did I have fun? Sort of. It was an interesting walk down memory lane. It was cool to see openers Orgy and Little Miss Nasty, both of whom have clearly drawn influence and inspiration from Lords. Would I go see them again in a standalone concert? Not likely, especially not if they return to the Cabooze. The sound was murky and the guitars, vocals, synthesizers, and parts of the drums all competed with each other in the same sonic space, creating an unappetizing audio soup.
Sole remaining original member Praga Khan, the googly-eyed weirdo playing synthesizers and providing vocals, looked a little off. There aren’t a whole lot of lyrics to work with, so the group relies on a lot of theatrics in their shows, especially from lead singer Marieke Bresseleers. She sauntered and stomped back and forth across the stage in a corset, tiny bottoms, ripped stockings, and not much else.
On a song late in the set, as she played the part of the loud, obnoxious seductress, she started to grab other people’s mics to scream the chorus. She got away with this once on Praga’s mic, but when she returned to do it again, he shooed her away and sent her back to her own mic. As the following chorus approached, she started to walk his way and he shut her down long distance. Again, they rely heavily on theatrics, so I would have written it off as a staged incident if it weren’t for what came next.
Just after their next and final song kicked in, Praga grabbed the band’s sound guy, directed him to play his keyboards, then lumbered offstage without so much as a glance at his band mates. The sound guy quickly resigned himself to the duties, which tells me that it isn’t a rare occurrence, but it’s was incredibly awkward from an audience member’s perspective.
Maybe I’ve outgrown the music of Lords of Acid since I saw them at 16. I couldn’t tell you the last time I intentionally listened to one of their albums. Even when I was more into them they were best in small doses. It stands to reason that what was likely a ten-year hiatus of listening would earn me enough tolerance to get through a one hour concert.
It seems as though a decade wasn’t quite enough for me, and apparently it wasn’t enough for the Lords themselves. Sorry, Praga.