Skinny Puppy @ The Complex 05.04


On May 4, 2023, the trail blazing industrial band Skinny Puppy (Matthew Setzer, Nivek Ogre, cEvin Key and Justin Bennet) took the stage at The Complex for a stop on their final tour. Having never disappointed their fans before with their heavy and hard drum beats and frightening theatrics, they lived up to what was to be expected of their farewell concert after roughly 40 years and 12 albums.

First appearing in silhouette behind a screen, lead singer Ogre dominated the stage in a shroud, opening the night with the politically charged “VX Gas Attack,” twisting and writhing with the illusion of four arms and hiding from attacks from ghosts and devils. When he steps from behind the sheet, he is still shrouded, hiding his light-up alien mask that he reveals to his audience two songs into the performance. 

Skinny Puppy barked and brapped into the night for an hour and a half, giving their fans a full range of their career. This tour featured a new character for the stage—The Tormentor, a dreadful man in full armor who stalks Orge on the stage, torturing him with various devices when he catches up with him. The Tormentor gave us a secret and theatrical peek into the sometimes rocky, sometimes glorious career and personal lives of the only band that can claim to be one of the first to pioneer industrial music.

Ogre finally revealed his true face for the encore, which featured SP’s original favorites, such as “Assimilate” and “Smothered Hope.” For his last appearance, he allows himself to talk to the audience and tell us a few jokes about all the random props now scattered about the stage. Thanks to Skinny Puppy—Ogre and cEvin especially—for giving such amazing music that still sounds as new and cutting edge as it did in the ’80s.