The former front man, Jello Biafra, from punk legends, Dead Kennedys, was finally back in Copenhagen with a band. I don't think he has played live in Denmark since Dead Kennedys played 2 gigs at Saltlageret way back in 1982. I was too young back then, and I wasn't even aware of the existence of Dead Kennedys until a few years later. Jello did in fact mention those gigs as a great memory and given the welcome he received from the fans here at Lille Vega, it is quite difficult to understand why no-one had booked him for a Danish gig much earlier than 2015.
I've not always had it easy with many of Jello's projects after Dead Kennedys. The D.O.A. album was great and Lard had it's moments, but generally speaking, the rest never did much for me. The other band members who continued as Dead Kennedys, I have just tried to ignore. Dead Kennedys without Jello, would never work for me. Jello was just too central a piece in the Dead Kennedys line-up.
With The Guantanamo School of Medicine everything is totally different. Their 2 albums have been absolutely awesome. It is a return to everything that was great about Dead Kennedys including the packaging with booklets, posters, stickers etc., the critical lyrics and of course the music. The band sounds like a rockin' version of Dead Kennedys only with a better production.
I am happy to say that they sound exactly the same live. The new songs are fully qualified to stand next to the older fan favorites, and mixing their setlists with older Dead Kennedys songs only makes their live cocktail even more enjoyable. Jello has become somewhat larger and with a bit less hair on top of his head, but for a 57 years old punk rocker he's doing very well. He was full of energy and his voice was fully fit thru the entire gig.
Jello Biafra likes to talk. He is very passionate and he sometimes talks for several minutes between the songs and even if that would often be a killer for a rock gig, it is not really a problem here. The band kept jammin' on between the songs while Jello talked about shitty politicians, fracking, dead kennedys, the police, money hungry bastards, edward snowden, wall st., terrorists and what else was on his mind this evening.
I never agreed with everything Dead Kennedys said back in the 80ies and I don't agree with everything Jello says today. But he is one of the few people I'll allow to mix politics and rock music so openly, because he is a brilliant and very entertaining speaker, and because his lyrics always have been very political anyway.
When the band launched into a new or old song on the main man's order, it all kicked total ass. Jello took several stagedives into the brilliant crowd of everything and everyone who has ever been a Copenhagen punkhead at one time or another. We all had a brilliant and very hot evening at Lille Vega. It is a rather small venue but also very intimate and the sound was excellent. I really hope some Copenhagen booker has taken note, and will invite this awesome band again. Copenhagen clearly needs more of Jello's medicine.
Playing time: 1h35
Strength Thru Shopping, John Dillinger, New Feudalism, Panic Land, Barackstar O'Bummer, Mid-East Peace Process, California Über Alles (Dead Kennedys cover), The Brown Lipstick Parade, Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover), Hollywood Goof Disease, Chemical Warfare (Dead Kennedys cover), Pets Eat Their Master.