Feb 2014 20

The Granada Theater, Dallas, TX, 2014/01/31
Skinny Puppy - Live in Dallas, 2014


The Granada Theater got a little darker on January 31 as the industrial gurus Skinny Puppy invaded north Texas and unleashed its dark, politically charged horror show on the Dallas crowd. Joining Skinny Puppy on the Shapes for Arms tour was DJMREX, the duo consisting of Cyrusrex and Douglas J. McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb.The anticipation for Skinny Puppy in the audience was palpable; attendees varied in age as Skinny Puppy’s legacy has been intact for more than 30 years. Murmurs could be heard throughout the Granada as fans exchanged stories and took pictures of each other’s Skinny Puppy tattoos. It had been a little while since the band last graced Dallas, although front man Nivek Ogre had appeared at the same venue in 2008 during an OhGr solo tour after the release of Devils in My Details.


The lights finally went down and the show commenced with DJMREX. The set began with a long humming tune that became monotonous after a couple minutes. The stage remained entirely dark aside from one light atop of Cyrusrex’s synth setup and an interesting visual presentation that gave a calm atmosphere to the set. The music itself wasn’t loud enough to fully captivate the venue or the crowd; it was actually difficult to hear the vocals over audience members arguing as to whether or not that was actually Douglas J. McCarthy on stage. DJMREX’s EP simply titled E1 is quite enjoyable to listen to, but the tracks didn’t transfer well when performed live. The standout track was certainly “Being You,” garnering the most physical reaction out of the audience and McCarthy as well. Overall, the set was underwhelming in this reviewer’s opinion.


Finally, the Canadian industrial masterminds took the stage. cEvin Key, Ogre, and the band’s contingent of live performers appeared one by one, each to his own raucous ovation. The night began with the eerie instrumental “Choralone,” followed by “illisiT.” Newer material from the band’s most recent Weapon release took up about a third of the entire set, and hearing the fresh tracks with live drums and the synths throughout the venue brought the songs and the audience to life. Heavy electronic tunes such as “Tsudanama” and “ParagUn” were made to be heard in the live setting. The Weapon tracks were well received, but the passion and intensity belonged to such classic Puppy songs as “The Choke,” which unleashed a minor mosh pit, and “Deep Down Trauma Hounds,”which had the hundreds in attendance singing in a chorus. Other standout tracks included “Worlock” and “The Village.”


Visually, Skinny Puppy was as striking as ever. Politics and metaphors were rampant as the stage was decorated with a monitor and multiple surveillance screens showing different sections of the audience and the band at all times. There was also a projector going at all times displaying art, symbols, as well as stock reports and the national debt clock. Ogre played the main character in this anti-government industrial circus while having costume changes every three or four songs. Sometimes he looked like a bringer of death and other times, he looked like a three-eyed human/pig hybrid. The outfits matched the music and lyrical content well.


After the band’s set of 15 songs concluded, the band returned to the stage to perform two encore tracks, “Assimilate” and “Ashas.” After an hour-and-a-half of grinding, pounding industrial tunes and visually stunning elements such as bloodletting and toxic water spewing, the night came to an end. Fans left sore, tired, covered in blood, and with barely any voice left to speak.


Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)
All photographs by Quoth Andrew Zeronine (QA09)


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