I went to a Suicidal Tendencies show at Slim’s in San Francisco last week. The place only holds maybe 400 people so it’s a pretty tiny place for a band as well-known as them. They haven’t released an album for several years and have been out of the bit of spotlight they did have as a result. They’re by no means a huge band but there’s a good chance anyone who’s ever been into metal, hardcore punk, or other loud, fast music has listened to them at some point.

Suicidal Tendencies’ 1990 album, “Lights, Camera, Revolution”, is on my “Top 10 Metal Albums of All Time” list (which I have not yet actually published) and I hold them in very high regard overall. I also knew that the crowd would be pretty insane in a place that small and it should be a fun show all around. We made our way up to the very front left of the stage between the first band and the second band, Municipal Waste, and planted ourselves there for the rest of the evening. Municipal Waste was previously unknown to me and was a pretty good show. They reminded me a bit of M.O.D. and Exodus at different moments and I noticed some Slayer influence at times as well.

After Municipal Waste was finished our beers were empty but there was no way we were going to give up our spots so we had to go thirsty. Sad, I know. Suicidal Tendencies first came on without Mike Muir and began to make a lot of guitar sounds for a few minutes until he came out and the crowd went wild. The guitar sounds eventually turned into an epic version of “You Can’t Bring Me Down” and it took me all the way back to those early highschool years when that song was one of my anthems. It’s a song based firmly in the themes of teen angst, like most Metal songs, but it also has a very strong sense of empowerment. It’s not a song about aggression, but instead about standing up for yourself and your beliefs. That may sound a bit trite now, but when I was 15 it did a lot for me.

Overall, it was a great show and the crowd energy level rarely dropped below a dull roar. I frequently found myself shouting along with the crowd to classic songs like “War Inside My Head”, “Send Me Your Money”, and “How Can I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today”. Goooood times.

I’ve heard some rumors that S.T. is coming out with a new album next year and I don’t know for sure if they played any songs from it or not. I don’t know every single song of theirs but I did recognize almost all of them. It’s hard to say if a band with as much history as Suicial Tendencies will actually produce a must-hear new album, but their live shows are still an experience anyone with any inclination shouldn’t pass up.

2 thoughts on “Suicidal Tendencies at Slim’s”

  1. Cool. 😉

    They were one of my favorites for years, up through Lights, Camera, Revolution… and a few songs off the CD after it, like Asleep at the Wheel. The first song that got me hooked on them was Wake the Dead–still love that song.

    My very first CD was the first Suicidal Tendencies CD… and I didn’t even have a CD player! (until about a year later) I actually already had the tape and just bought the CD because it had the lyrics. I guess you can tell I wasn’t online yet. 😉

    I saw them in a pretty small place in NJ when Lights, Camera, Revolution came out. They just burst out onto the stage with Can’t Bring Me Down, which was my favorite at the time. I wasn’t right up front, but the place was so small it didn’t really matter to me.

    Still love the older stuff (and even a lot of the Infectious Grooves stuff), but couldn’t really get into the newer stuff. The mix CD in my car right now even has Pledge Your Allegiance, Waking the Dead, Sorry, How Will I Laugh Tomorrow, and a few others on it.

  2. Oh man… I havent thought of SxTx in a loooong time! In 1991 or so me and some skater friends “played” You Can’t Bring Me Down in a lip-sync show. We were all decked out in flannels and bandanas, with busted up guitars and all and went totally crazy in front of the whole high school. Ah, youth!

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