Concert Review with PHOTOS: Dead Kennedys


By Labretta Suede & Johnny Moondog

Artist: Dead Kennedys

Date / Venue: Saturday November 10th, 2018 - The Powerstation, Auckland

Nazi Punks Faaaaark Off!

The iconography of The Dead Kennedy’s banner devoured the whole room with the presence of its red, white and black fascist nihilism

It sure worked for the Nazi's but all this to a pop beat, well, that's punk. Bringing this to our attention in a time where politics has never been more farcical. Their previous New Zealand show was in 1983, at the height of Reganism and the Cold War.

All of this piqued my curiosity. How was this show gonna go down? So, I begin my journey through the sea of male testosterone to a safe distance, to view, hear, sing along and dance.

However, my ears were burning with the constant murmur of the man missing in action due to financial disputes, Jello Biafra. It's no secret there’s a rift between Jello and guitarist East Bay Ray.

Ray was founder/co-founder, producer and the surf, Marricone, spaghetti western sound of this driving force. Did I also forget to mention part owner in their very own independent label, Alternative Tentacles? Yep, you can see where things might have gotten a bit messy.

All this aside, I was there for the music and was stupefied by front man Ron 'Skip' Greer's unstoppable goading.

I've always found the Auckland crowd to be easily riled and he really ladled out the chum. A crowd favourite was flipping him off during his sharp witted sparring.

Dads were dragging their sons into the mosh by the second song. Others keen to join were bent over in front of me, double lacing their boots before sawing into the action.

The spectacle of this rollicking sold out crowd was gut-bustingly amusing. I hadn't laughed so much in ages! Comedy at its finest with a very respectful mosh. Tops off before getting into the pit? ‘Hold my shirt, come on son...’

I must say I was a tad uncomfortable being surrounded by so many topless men. Snigger.

East Bay Ray looked tired, and was sloppy. He was lagging, while yelling and rolling his eyes at the onstage monitor technician. Putting his producer hat on before tossing it into the ring and kicking out some of his finest idiosyncratic guitar punches. We all enjoyed it. Raw!

Klaus Flouride looked like a gleeful teenager, while he banged out bass riffs, and those all so important backing vocals. Pol Pot, which in my early teens I had mistaken for "cold, hot".... it still works in the context.

D.H Peligro with his succinct drumming kept the energy high and the sound huge. We will forgive him for his brief stint with 'The Red Hot Chili Peppers,' because his work as the backbone of The Dead Kennedys is commendable.

His intro to Nazi Punk's was a monologue about the breaking down of sociopolitical barriers and how New Zealand has some things right. It was a sensational force to begin the song with.

Being witness to one of the pioneering punk bands and hearing those unmistakable songs Jello or no Jello, was thrilling.

The set-list set my soul on fire but no Raw Hide for me.

This was the relevant sound of fear of the post-punk 80's cold war which has now become a monumental joy in the modern age.

'Viva La Punk,' or rather the last of the great satirical western bands.

But that's all folks, eh Skip?