Davey Suicide is one of those bands that has always been in my peripheral vision. I’ve known about them, read about the lawsuit, etc. But I never really sat down to listen to the music until March of 2017.
This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to see Davey Suicide perform live as they kicked off their “Made from Fire” Tour. On top of seeing the band for the first time, I was also getting to attend a concert at The Catalyst Club in San Jose. Obviously, I was doubly excited for this adventure.
The Catalyst Club
The Catalyst Club is… for lack of a better word… an interesting venue. The inside of the Atrium is rather bizarrely decorated. There is a large faux elephant head protruding from the wall. Facing the elephant is a large rowboat suspended in air. There are plush, yet completely worn down faux velvet couches to the right of the stage. There is full service bar with a second counter facing the stage. What is fun about this second counter is the protruding hand rising up from the end. (I can’t make this up.)
Overall, the Atrium of the Catalyst Club has a nice cozy feel. It reminds me slightly of the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, but maybe a little larger?
Before Davey Suicide
Prior to the show starting, two local bands opened for Davey Suicide: Aurora Beam and Calling the Skies. Normally, I like to arrive as late as possible because opening bands tend to be complete shite. This was not true for this show. Both opening bands turned out to be spectacularly good.
Aurora Beam hails from Watsonville, California. Just a stone’s throw away from where I live. Watsonville is primarily known for its export of strawberries; however, this new export has the possibility to become bigger. The band is compiled of a drummer and guitarist. All of the songs were instrumental, and I dug it.
Calling the Skies is from Oakland, California. This band blew my mind. I was not expecting to be so enthralled by an opening band. As a fairly new band, they have a lot of their stage production together. They captivated me to the point that I’m more than likely going to drive to Berkeley in a few weeks to check them out again. To check them out, listen to their song “Wandering” at https://soundcloud.com/user-850167545
As the intro to Made from Fire began, I became absolutely ecstatic. The band members slowly took the stage and the show literally never stopped from there.
The set consisted of mostly songs from their latest album; however, some “classics” were thrown in to the mix as well. The highlights for me were “Torture Me” and “End of the War.”
Davey Suicide’s stage show is probably one of the better I’ve seen. At every chance, the band pulls the crowd in through their theatrics. It’s absolutely fascinating and heartwarming to see the stage interactions between Davey Suicide, Niko Gemini, and Derek Obscura. There is a definite comradery between these guys.
Gemini and Obscura play off of each other well. Their interactions while playing are nothing but playful. They obviously feed off each other’s energy. Gemini even played a 3-5 minute solo before the encore. (I’m terrible with judging time.) Gemini’s solo was reminiscent of watching and listening to John 5. It is apparent that Gemini loves his craft and has worked hard to get to the level he is at now.
Suicide is incredibly dynamic on stage. For as much as you want to watch the whole stage show, it is difficult to pull your eyes away from the band’s front man. It is apparent that with every song he sings, he puts his entire heart into it.
During “Too Many Freaks,” the band donned clown masks. At first, I was skeptical of this because I was afraid the masks would hinder Gemini and Obscura from singing backup for Suicide. But the masks actually helped to add to the tone of the song.
Despite playing to a small crowd, the band never gave up on the audience and often pushed to pull the audience in. They also never stopped giving 100%. This is perhaps the most admirable quality of this band. They could have just as easily stopped, but they didn’t.
As the show was drawing to a close, Davey Suicide played “End of the War.” I will admit the first time I heard this song, I sobbed like a baby. It was very difficult for me to not tear up during the live version of the song.
After the Show
As the show concluded, Davey Suicide and the rest of the band welcomed all in attendance to come and chat with them at the merch table. Several young kids became giddy at the thought of getting to interact with someone they admire. I will admit I even had a funny feeling in my stomach. I waited patiently for the kids to talk to the band because I didn’t want to be that weird 35 year old that gushes, “I love your music.” How creepy is that? But guess what I did. Yup. I gushed to Davey Suicide about how wonderful the new album was and how spectacular the show was.
Davey Suicide was ever the gracious man. He was polite and made small talk with me for a short while. We discussed different topics before I asked him to sign a poster I had purchased. Again, he was gracious and signed the poster that will now adorn the walls of my classroom.
Davey Suicide is definitely a band to check out. The stage show and set-list are spectacular. Davey Suicide and the rest of the band are extremely approachable and polite.
I will admit I had a fan girl moment speaking with him. So few musicians impress me anymore that when I meet someone this talented, I get butterflies in my stomach.
My only regret for the show is that they didn’t get to play to a larger audience. Perhaps it was because it was a Thursday night, but they deserved more in attendance than they got. This, however, did not deter them from putting on a spectacular show.
Of the 20+ concerts I have attended this year, Davey Suicide definitely ranks in the Top 5.