(From Perfect Pitch, online music magazine, November 2003.)


Killing Joke/Amen - November 14, 2003


Slim's, San Francisco 


Whether he's feeling gentle or smarmy, one thing's for sure – Killing Joke mouthpiece Jaz Coleman never performs at anything less than full intensity. Playing Slim's to a packed crowd filled with punks, Goths and Jello Biafra, Jaz and Killing Joke were feeling a little bit smarmy on this night… but in a gentle way.

Punk group Amen – voted "Best Live Band in the World, 2003" by Metal Hammer – opened the show and treated the stage like it was an unauthorized kegger at the local geek's house. Cymbal stands flew across the stage, bass cabinets were toppled over and bandmates crashed into bandmates to the sweet sounds of tunes like "Refuse Amen," "In Your Suit," "Ungrateful Dead" and "Mayday." Amen proved that it doesn't discriminate – the band is an equal opportunity defacer, targeting both George W. Bush and hippies with back to back songs. They don't hate one side or the other, they hate everything. Which is exactly why they were the perfect openers.

Donning camouflage facepaint, a dark cloak and a giant wooden staff, Jaz mesmerized the San Francisco crowd as the highly underrated Killing Joke blasted through two solid hours of classics both old ("The Wait," "Frenzy," "Follow the Leaders," "Pssyche") and new ("The Death and Resurrection Show," "Blood On Your Hands," "Asteroid"). Lyrics were shouted, wisdom was shared, and bodies were shoved as all stared in awe towards the men whose craft inspired bands like Metallica, Nirvana and Faith No More. A soft-spoken Jaz wasted no time in expressing his love for this fair city – but also didn't hesitate to take a shot at the new governor ("You guys sure have good taste! Ha!"). Discussing emotional pains over the recent passings of loved ones, Jaz delivered an epiphany like only he could: "Do you realize how many of you are going to be dead before we come back here?"
- Erik Fong