Words and Photos by Aaron Richter
First things first, Black Lips–known and notorious for their outrageous onstage antics (spitting, peeing, penis waggling and the like)–were pretty much on their best behavior. Maybe a bit docile, removed, sleepy, out of it and, well, not very good at all, musically speaking. But the Atlanta group’s Sunday set at the Williamsburg Waterfront for the JellyNYC Pool Parties still might be one of the finest we’ve seen from the group–and it doesn’t even matter that they were rather shit at doing what they were onstage to do: play their songs adequately well and act like idiots.
Rather, it was the crowd that absolutely stole the show. From the first song onward security was running around batty as the crowd writhed about and swarmed forward, eventually collapsing the flimsy barricade and spewing into the photo pit. The fans crowd-surfed with 40s in hand, hurled shoes at the band, jumped onstage and even got into it with an overeager security staffer at one point, which led Cole Alexander to rush the beefy body with a swift smack and shove to get him off an abused mosher. “Hey, don’t hurt our fans,” Alexander pleaded from the stage. The set ended manically, the stage littered with event staff to control the crowd (one bruiser even grabbed a guitar-less Jared Swilley before being informed that “No, man, don’t! He’s in the band”), and the Lips, feeding off their fans’ chaotic exuberance, played on through sound-board threats to cut off their instruments. Hell yeah. Who even cared that …Trail of Dead was supposed to play next (their set got cancelled)? We left. Satisfied.