Concert Review: Jello Biafra And The Guantanamo School Of Medicine, August 29, Lee’s Palace

Jello Biafra And The Guantanamo School Of Medicine

Sometimes you go into a show knowing pretty much exactly what you’re going to get. In the case of Jello Biafra And The Guantanamo School Of Medicine, I knew it would all be quite political. And with songs like “White People And The Damage Done” along with Dead Kennedys classics like “Holiday In Cambodia” and “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” it certainly was that.

It’s somehow fitting that Biafra’s show was happening on the same night as the RNC was going on south of the border as Biafra certainly had some choice words for the Republicans, such as when he introduced “Kill The Poor” as the theme song to the Republican Convention. Of course, he’s no fan of the Democrats either, referring to “Barackstar O”Bummer” at a few points during his set. He lashed out at many targets throughout the show and  even showed he’s up on his Canadian politics, mentioning the Keystone Pipeline and our very own Stephen Harper, lumping him in with the religious right who “seriously believe that Jesus is coming back” before launching into “Crapture.” While he’s against a lot of things, Biafra does approve of is the Occupy movement, urging those is the audience to “keep at it and fight corporate dictatorship.”  It’s no surprise that his latest release is an EP called SHOCK-U-PY.

In a recent interview with Under The Radar magazine, Biafra mentioned how some of what he does can be seen as preaching to the choir, but that “the choir can get very depressed, and it’s important to fire them up again.” And Biafra certainly knows how to get the crowd fired up, with his miming between and during songs, and speechifying to the crowd, he knows how to get things going. And while Biafra can get pretty outrageous, he never crosses into Dave Mustaine levels of seemingly out there theories (I eagerly await the day that Mustaine starts talking to empty chairs onstage).  While some in the crowd may have wanted him to just stick to the oldies (some guy shouted out to “play something we all know” right after “California Uber Alles,” which led Biafra to mock him for wanting to be spoonfed retro), the new songs sounded pretty good. It’s nice to see that after 30 years or so, he’s still at it and not just coasting as a nostalgia act.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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