As D.C. concertgoers might know, getting into the Black Cat on 14th St. is as easy as getting your hand stamped. Yet on Oct. 2, the line to simply get to the door stretched back three establishments.
The Black Lips were not new to this venue. It was only 6 months ago that they graced the black and white tile stage along with Natural Child. April was the start of their tour for their new album, “Underneath the Rainbow,” which debuted in March.
The Black Lips could easily fit in with such bands as Deerhunter, together PANGEA, or FIDLAR, but they choose to not settle in to any such category. Their lo-fi production topped with some country twang combine to create a bone-rattling rhythm.
The band took the stage and played a solid hour of music from their new album and some old ones too, including “Good Bad Not Evil” and “Arabia Mountain.” The crowd was filled with devoted fans screaming back every word to original members Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley as beer was thrown into the air.
The show began with “Sea of Blasphemy,” a song off their 2005 album, “Let it Bloom.” The crowd responded instantly with melodic swaying and shoving. Crowd members had their arms around each other’s shoulders, putting a smile on the band members faces.
The band primarily played songs from their new album with scatter hits from previous albums and ended their set with the infamous “Bad Kids” off of “Good Bad Not Evil.” At this point, the crowd had transformed to one mob with limbs flying out at every angle.
Created by Alexander and Swilley, The Black Lips have been together since 1999, and they have a strong fan base and reputation for wild live shows. By the fifth song, “Dirty Hands,” Alexander referred to the crowd as his “friends now.” Though the show was rough, it also had a feeling of unity between everyone in front of the stage and on it.
After “Bad Kids” ended and the band left the stage, the crowd continued to roar, calling to the members for “one more song.” They, along with openers King Kahn and the BBQ Show, glided back on stage to play three more songs. Set lists were handed to the front row and there was nothing but joy on the faces of the band members.
The Black Lips have been around for 15 years and after the success of their last album, they do not show to be slowing down anytime soon. Hopefully, they will grace the D.C. venues again in the future. Until then, their devoted fans will continue to rock on.