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September 16th 2021

Milwaukee (WI)

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Sep 28 2000 @ Key Club W Hollywood, CA

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On Stage

Angelo C. Moore (v, sax, thr, per)
John Norwood Fisher (eb, b, v)
Walter Kibby III (v, t)
Tracey Singleton (eg)
John Steward (d)
John McKnight (key, tb, eg, v)


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3 reviews
Review from the Nuttwork's archive 

There were 5 bands total, and I got there during the second band's set. The band was Primitive Reason. They were ok, but I only heard a few songs. My impression was that they had some good ideas, but needed to tighten it up a bit 'cause their time seemed to sway a little.

The third band (don't remember their name) sounded a lot like green day to me. Very tight, but ve...


Review from the Nuttwork's archive 

I've just regained physical composition in the material plane. It's hard to type when a band has transformed your bones to liquid funk and tuned your brainwaves to that interior radio station that reminds you that it all keeps starting over again...and again...and again.

I got to the club with my girlfriend, Tennille at about 10:40 p.m. Even on a Thursday evening, parking in that region of town is a bitch as you have to compete with clubgoers at the neighboring Whisky, Roxy and Viper Room. As we sat outside the club for one last cigarette, we could hear the infamous Green Jelly going absolutely nuts inside...and we could see the "mundane" audience members sloughing off the show. Lotsa record execs with frowns on their faces leaving the club, trying to get back to their Lexus' and SUV's before they find themselves either challenged or entertained. Man, what a sad group of sourpusses.

We grabbed our tickets (Key Club has just recently changed their box office policy to allow electronic payment - welcome to the 21st century, kids) and headed in. The club is fairly well packed, at least 350 people by one bartender's estimation. Green Jelly is doing their rendition of THREE LITTLE PIGS, with over ten people onstage, acting out the parts of the pigs, the wolf, the police, etc. Two lead singers in combat pants and T-shirts keep the action moving along. The musicians are so heavily costumed that you can't even tell their gender. Giant foam rubber amps dominate the stage like a Betty Boop cartoon come to life. The crowd is into it (who doesn't know this song?) and singing along at the top of their collective voice. They end their set and tear down so quickly, you wouldn't think that they don't play very often. After their set, about 50-80 people bail, but they are supplanted by late arriving Fishbone faithful. Fishbone is setting up, right on schedule. God bless professionalism onstage.

I took the set-up time to speak with some audience members. This wasn't like the Nuttstalk tour, where Fishbone went on first to a mostly empty house and you could spot the Hollywood Records demons from a mile away. It was full up to the brim, so I began to speak with this hard traveled Japanese gentleman, Yoshi, come to L.A. by way of Fukuoka, Japan a few years ago. His friends who had seen Fishbone at a Japan Music Festival told him to go to this show. It was his first and he was very excited, but didn't quite know what to expect due to the range of music on their recordings.

I bumped into a friend's roommate, a guy by the name of Brian, who had come down to the club because he was friends with the people who run it. I went into full soldier mode, telling him he had happened upon the single most glorious event on the planet that evening, and that he must stay for the show. He went and grabbed the people he came with (who were getting ready to leave) and convinced them to stay. As the show went on for the first three songs, I did a little commentary for him, just to let him know why it was interesting that they would do one particular song so early in the set. After that, he was hooked and my girl and I moved up to the front to dance and leer.

Fishbone took the stage at 11:30 p.m. If you say you are playing at 11:00 p.m. and you end up onstage a half hour later, in Lost Assholes, that is considered on-time. No one even noticed or worried. It was evident from the energy in the room that this would be a great show. The men were dressed largely similar to their CSUN show, save for Norwood, who wore a black kimono and Spacey, who had a traditional black FB T-shirt on and blue jean shorts. Spacey also didn't wear his sunglasses, which made it easier to gauge his happiness with the performance.

Shall we get on with the set? Fine.

THE SET (In order) - AIDS & Armageddon - Freddie's Dead - Monkey Dick - Karma Tsunami - Alcoholic - Just Allow - Question of Life - Where'd You Get Those Pants - Cholly - When Problems Arise - Shakey Ground - The Suffering - Unyielding Conditioning - Housework - Ugly - Sunless Saturday - Subliminal Fascism - Everyday Sunshine - Norwood and Spacey Solo into Party At Ground Zero

THE ACTION AIDS - The band hits the first note at 98% top speed. Just incredible to see something where nothing was before. Proves that Fishbone cannot be touched by any live band to this day. Norwood has the acoustic bass out first, probably so he won't have the "quick, this cable ain't working" problem that he had with it at CSUN.

FRED - It's 1988 all over again. No difference in energy, strength or commitment, and Angelo's voice is completely warm, so a full-throated roar is what we get this time. The breakdown is sweet. JS is relaxed and really stepping into his own space as a drummer.

MONKEY DICK - Ouch. Ow. My wrist, my ribs, my aching ass. I skip through the crowd to join the pit as the familiar drumbeat begins, only to find two too many shitheels in said pit. For most of the song, it seems like there are two kinds of people in the pit. Those who came to dance, and those who came to hit people. Fucking ridiculous. This doesn't happen at other venues I've seen Fishbone at, so it must be the westside influence allowing the shark-like slicky boyz to come in and play "Giant Robo" with my skinny ass. There was one white dude with long hair and a black t who kept laying licks on me like Deacon Jones. But I'll reserve my ire for the fuckwit who came at me, fists out at chest height while I was in mid-air, leaping over one of his previous conquests, knocking me about six feet back onto my can. I'm no rookie soldier, so believe me when I tell you, I've never gone down in a Fishbone pit. Why? Because no one has ever acted the ass like this Dennis Rodman-looking shitbiter. I got an assist from Travis of Soul Rebel and watched as this prick stood in the middle of the pit and continued to take people out with judo throws. Not stupid little fighting tricks, real martial arts skills that could seriously hurt someone landing on a tile floor. So, a great big "FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE" from the collective audience who witnessed your tomfoolery. This guy kept the pit to about 10-15 participants for more than half the show. Oh, yeah, the song was amazing.

KARMA - Wow. What is this song doing showing up this early. The band hasn't slowed down since they took the stage. The crowd is popping along to the frenetic beat, swept up in the gospel-punk madness of the tune.

ALCOHOLIC - Now people are really jazzed! If we hear this now, how long will this show be? Top form, no missed notes, no missed stops. Angelo leaps into the crowd at the beginning of the song, rolling over the top of the crowd towards the bar at the back of the house, shouting "Hey bartender!" the whole while. He does the first quarter of the song perched atop the arms of the crowd.

JUST ALLOW - Angelo has been messing with his Therimin for most of the show, but it is here that his abilities with this monster really shine. He has what I term the "Permanent Therimin" out, the big, black boxy sumbich that you'd have to take a running leap at if you wanted to knock it over. I just love this freaking song. Walt is expansive like Rodan during this song. He really seems to be more into the performances than ever before, without some of the caustic comments that the request-shouters would elicit from the Dirty One.

QUESTION - It's midnight and they begin the funkier, groovier part of the set. This seems a little faster than the day before, but hell, they just came out of top speed so it's to be expected.

PANTS - Angelo with the Bass sax. Nothing freaks the crowd out more than the size of that thing. It prevents Angelo from moving around too much, but gives him a chance to catch his breath. Norwood, McKnight, Spacey, Walt are just beginning to sweat.

CHOLLY - Angelo begins the song with a ragga toast of "Whopper Size! Whopper Size! Whopper Size! Dem got to be - Whopper Size!" Nice and fonkay.

PROBLEMS - Norwood and Walt lead the crowd in a call and response of the "A-HA! A-HA-HA!" to set the groove for this most wonderful of live Fishbone songs. I hope all of you get to see this. It sums up all that is cool and mystical about this band. The separation between the instruments and the way they can intertwine and then split is fantastic.

SHAKEY - Oooooooh. Background singers rock. Too bad they were just there for the one song. Crowd stomping funk.

SUFFER - Another single spotlight MaddVibe opening. Not as intimate as the CSUN show, but equally impacting. A little piccolo sax from the frontman.

UNYIELDING - I have not seen them do this for a long time. Spacey T really shone on this one. It requires such finesse, and he nailed it. Beautiful song that calmed the savage pit, if only for a little while. John Steward broke a stick, it flew off and hit McKnight in the head. McK looked around like, "What the Hell are you doing back there?" and then started laughing once he realized JS didn't just throw it at him. Funny moment.

HOUSEWORK - About the only song that makes me dance harder than Just Allow. The pit swells to 50+ and stays there for the rest of the show. Great solo by Spacey T.

UGLY - Now everybody is in on this shit! Whole place is moving, women are throwing undergarments to the stage, shit is hopping!

SUNLESS - They roar through this one, still not having lost any of the momentum they established at the forefront. Even through new signs proclaiming "NO STAGE DIVING" we posted everywhere, people start going up and getting their Flying Fish on. Angelo and 'Wood stop security from intervening. Security is a little worried, but does nothing.

TANGENT - Y'know, the other thing missing from this Key Club show was rampant out-in-the-open weed smoking. At the House of Blues and Key Club shows in the past, it wasn't even funny how many folks got their smoke on publicly. Now they've reconfigured the club PA so you can't get behind the speakers and smoke and security was traveling through the club with an ever-watchful eye for illicit activities. Walt and 'Wood commented on the absence of smoke as well. - END TANGENT

SUB-FASC - Fast and meaty. The pit bosses were continuing to hurt people. I declined another trip on the Break-Me-Go-Round.

SUNSHINE - It's 1:00 a.m. and the band pulls Travis, the singer from Soul Rebel onstage to do the song with them. Angelo has lost none of his energy and is all over the place. Walt is moving around as well, and Norwood and Travis share a mic for harmony. McKnight and the female backup singer with the long, long braids toast one another mid-song without missing a note. Really cool.

PARTY - Begins with an amazing duo by Spacey and Norwood, waltzing around one another's progression until they arrive at the ethereal opening of the song. Every single person that has a bone in their back is dancing, the club has exploded with energy and the roof is ablaze.

After the show, I had a chance to speak with McKnight. He said that FB's booking agent is doing a really good job for them right now and the number of appearances that they will be making in the future, both on shows of their own, shared bills and TV will astound us. He mentioned who the special TV appearance might be, but I'll never tell. He also said that the next album would be amazing and that we would all be very happy. Mr. McKnight is a gracious fellow and a true gentleman and I felt lucky to have him be the informational cherry on a sundae of Nuttmegalicous goodness. More reviews as the shows happen. Talk to y'all soon.

Peace Through Superior Monsterpower,

Mr. Marz


Review from the Nuttwork's archive 

I was there and I can say that they did play the slower arrangemaent of "problems".they like to play a number of the live tunes as slooow funk if not crazy ska or punk.those slower are some of my favorite ones.


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