Concert Review: Psychic TV, September 21, Lee’s Palace


Psychic TV’s Genesis P-Orridge is a legend of avant garde music, keeping things weird since the founding of industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle back in 1976. Psychic TV has been going for nearly as long and were back in Toronto (for the first time in about 20 years according to them) to promote their latest effort The Alienist.

After opening with The Alienist‘s opening track, a cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into The Fire,” Genesis went on about happiness for awhile, telling the crowd, “You’d better be happy” and further instructing them to turn to the left and right and smile at or hug or shake the hand of somebody you don’t know. It was a sweet, almost hippy-ish moment from the singer, although a band with lyrics like “nothing matters but the end of matter” certainly isn’t all about sweetness and light and as Genesis later added, “Being happy is a weapon.”

One of the highlights of the set was the first song ever written for Psychic TV, “Just Drifting,” which stood out as a mellower moment in a set that was often dominated by lots of doomy psychedelia and driving krautrock jams. Another highlight was the encore, perhaps one of the more unique approaches to the encore I’ve seen before. After the requisite pause while the audience claps and cheers for the band to come out again, the majority of the band returned to the stage and basically stalled for awhile while waiting for the drummer to get back onstage. It almost looked like that might be the end of things, but he finally returned and the whole band launched into a fantastic cover of Can’s “Mother Sky,” wrapping things up quite nicely. And happily.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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