From the beginning of the show, frontman Mike Muir led his band Suicidal Tendencies through a full frontal assault on the senses of the large crowd at 9:30 Club, and everyone had the time of their lives.
With devil-may-care flair, Cyco Miko, as Mike is known, threw down in a brutal, riotous marathon of tunes pulled from 35 years of Suicidal Tendencies’ history. Suicidal Tendencies were at 9:30 Club to celebrate two occasions — the 35th anniversary of their self-titled debut album and the release of their 13th studio album, which dropped the day prior via their own label, Suicidal.
Suicidal Tendencies launched the concert with the first album’s “Suicide’s an Alternative,” and Mike stood on stage edge to get in your face. The audience chanted with fervor: “ST! ST! ST!”
The vast majority of the show was dedicated to the 35-year-old debut as the band paced through “You’ll Be Sorry,” “Two-Sided Politics,” and more. Within a few songs, Mike shouted, “DC, put your fingers in the air!” And the audience joined him in flipping the bird, apparently to the world at large.
The new album by Suicidal Tendencies is virtually re-recording of a 1996 Cyco Miko solo album, Lost My Brain! (Once Again). The band nodded to the new record with a performance of “FUBAR” toward the end of the show. Listen to STill Cyco Punk After All These Years by Suicidal Tendencies on Spotify:
Two-thirds of the way through the performance, Suicidal Tendencies welcomed some surprisingly polite stage invaders onto the set, and the band launched into “Institutionalized,” with Mike spitting words in a rapid-fire ode to disillusionment and dissatisfaction with life. Belying the hopelessness of numbers like “Institutionalized,” Mike consistently remained a savvy band leader who wielded words and instruments like a hammer.
Somewhere in the raucous din of thrashing, the audience, largely folks who have been following Suicidal Tendencies for a while, clearly found some catharsis. And it was evident that was why Mike does what he does. Somewhere in the onslaught of guitars and decidedly anti-social lyrics, he discovered some degree of peace. In connecting with an audience that “gets” it, Cyco Miko became perhaps a bit less psycho.
Suicidal Tendencies remain on tour through Oct. 6, and then they take a break after a gig in Salt Lake City. Here are some photos of Suicidal Tendencies performing at 9:30 Club on Sept. 8, 2018. All photos copyright and courtesy of Paivi Salonen.