I saw The Jesus Lizard play at the Middle East in Boston in the last ninties, and it was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had, rock group entertainment-wise: David Yow was the manifestation of some type of swamp creature, who had crawled out of his back woods lair to climb around the bar and hang from the rafters, literally swinging all around and freaking people out. Show is the Jesus Lizard live experience, complete with between song banter, which is almost worth the price alone (at some point Mac’s monitor goes out and David Yow says, “I think Mac’s monitor has joined the realms of the non-existant.” Someone in the crowd asks, “Is that Neiche?” and David Yow replies, “Neiche? I Neiche your mouth full of my cock,” which may just be my late adolescent first encounter with The Jesus Lizard speaking, or the fact that it’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard in my life). Beyond the theatrics, what the disc provides you essentially, is the fact that this was an incredibly awesome live group, and if you missed them here’s you chance to catch a glimpse–until they try and capitalize on some future interest punk rock, and reunite.
Long held up as exemplary by indie-uber-alles ethicist Steve Albini, Chicago’s Jesus Lizard has signed a pact with the devil himself, Irving Azoff, and released a one-shot live album called Show as part of the Collision Arts/Giant Records series commemorating the 20th anniversary of CBGB. The 15 tracks come close to capturing the bone-crushing intensity of the noise rockers’ live set, but there’s no substitute for catching singer David Yow in person in all his sweating, spitting, and screaming glory. The only thing more entertaining would be seeing Albini try to explain how the band hasn’t sold out. –Jim DeRogatis
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So what? It’s a CD, with all it’s limitations. Even so, this is a gloriously pure recording, no cuts whatsoever- the tape just runs.
The band jumps out of your speakers, with Dave Yow’s inimitable between song patter launching another precision barrage from easily one of the most consistently lockstep bands ever to hit a stage.
Truest evolution of punk energy into controlled demolition, Dave taunting the Damned (headliners), the nyc rock stars in the audience, using the uncomprehending smattering of claps at the close of a song like nitrous fuel for the next.
I saw ‘em no fewer than 6 times, and when I’m 80, it will probably best describe the zeitgheist of those times AND those moments.
after hearing this album i just wanted to go out and do something. it got my adrenaline pumping and my soul moving. the man’s voice jumps out at you and you can’t get it out. this is the first time i heard of jesus lizard so i don’t know much about them but they got me moving. i was actually sweating after hearing it. later peeps
This was the best live band I ever had the fortune to see and therefore I’m grateful to have a live CD to remind me of those great shows (at CBGB’s no less!) As other reviewers of their stuff have mentioned, the singer is uniquely undecipherable and that’s part of the beauty, the essence of this music. It is NOT for the faint of heart and isn’t like anything else you’ve ever heard.
A band with limitless energy and unfathomable power, Jesus Lizard’s live acts are legendary. While Steve Albini managed to capture the band’s ferocity as effectively as possible within the confines of a studio, a recording of the band in their blistering, live, and unmixed state has been long overdue. “Show” finally delivers the goods on a live Jesus Lizard album by presenting a set recorded in the infamous CBGBs club and every element of the band’s sound seems to have grown accordingly in both volume and size. The bass is monstrous, the drums are bludgeoning, the guitar is unwieldy, and Yow’s vocals are hoarser and more desperate than ever finally verifying the long held notion that Jesus Lizard truly was a “live band”. However, 15 tracks may seem like a little much for the often monotonous group, but thanks to the added live intensity and brilliant song choices, every track remains just as exciting and fresh as the last. For a band that relied more on schizophrenic riffing and bombastic churning rhythms than on melodies or traditional chord structures, a live album is the perfect way to present a sound that was simply too loud to be contained by a studio. Displaying the band in all their chaotic glory, Show is the way that Jesus Lizard should have sounded on CD their entire career, and while it won’t take the place of classics like Goat or Liar, Show easily ranks amongst some of my favorite live albums of all time.