ohGr @ Murray Theatre

Posted April 9, 2009 in
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The Murray Theatre

As a big fan of ohGr’s work with Skinny Puppy, I had mixed feelings about going to see his solo show on this Wednesday night. Let me make a comparison for you: going to see ohGr’s show at the Murray Theatre was kind of like standing next to an occupied bathroom stall when the need to shit is overwhelming you. You don’t wanna stand there smelling the shit and hearing the noises that accompany it, but it’s something you’ve just gotta do. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be better for it in the end. I’ve seen Skinny Puppy once before, and their live show did not disappoint. Blood and gore, crucifix throwing and so much more combined to create what was essentially a gothic weirdo’s heaven – exactly what I was hoping to get from a Skinny Puppy show.

I had never been to the Murray Theatre, and I didn’t expect the venue to be very good for a few reasons: (a) It’s in Murray, home of wannabe thugs and sketchy ex-felons having sex with ugly girls on the side of the road (but that’s another story), and (b) my parents used to go see sub-par magic shows there. Still, going to a show in Murray isn’t bad as being downtown with all the hipsters and their super sweet fixed gears. In reality it wasn’t that bad, though. It was kind of small, but at a show like this it worked to the advantage of both audience and band in the form of a heightened level of intimacy. That is, if a stoic sea of kids in black Skinny Puppy shirts were capable of showing any sort of emotion besides disappointment through their eyeliner and crappy haircuts. Seriously, if you’re gonna pay 18 bucks to get into a show, you might as well enjoy it, right? On the plus side, the small crowd meant that there was a lot of room to move.

The show started at 7:30, but I had never heard of the opening act so I decided to show up around 9:00. Turns out it was a bad decision on my part, as the last part of their set was awesome, like an acid tripper’s wet dream. Behind a giant screen they played an ambient kind of music to old video clips of random weirdness on the three giant screens to each side and above the stage – pretty fuckin’ cool. After they finished, I sat around for a half hour before deciding to go out and smoke. After paying a $2 re-entry fee (lame), it looked like ohGr was ready to hit the stage. Wrong! We sat around for another half hour amongst the depressed kids with shitty haircuts. Finally, ohGr hit the stage and I immediately knew it was worth the wait. The first song featured two drum kits, and as expected, ohGR was in a ridiculous costume that made him look like his back was his front and his front was his back.

ohGr has an awesome, almost intimidating, stage presence: if he looked you in the eye, you couldn’t help but look away. He played a lot of Devils in my Details, and having not heard it before, the show totally made me excited to hear the recorded version. It was amazingly heavy: loud drums, guitars, heavy synth, and a great performance to boot. ohGr also kept saying how much he liked Salt Lake City, which was a definite plus to the fans. For his enore, he came out and played some of the best songs from his second album, Welt, Solow, Water and Cracker. The whole crowd went nuts, and it was a great way to end the show. All in all it was an amazing show, and in the end, I wasn’t disappointed.