Sweat was the word dujour Tuesday night at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. It poured off fans, and stained Jimmy Urine’s outfit. It dripped off Lyndsey Way, and soaked Steve’s flowing black hair. Mindless Self Indulgence, clearly don’t mind getting dirty.
But we’ll get to that later, the first person to display the wonders of the sweat gland that night was Chantal Claret. The former lead singer of Morningwood doesn’t quite fit in with the raucous electro accents, pounding drums, and thrumming bass of Mindless Self Indulgence (MSI). But her skin tight leather pants, sparkling sleeveless shirt, and take-no-shit attitude endear her to the crowd. Her banter also helps.
“I totally fucked my way onto this stage.” She proclaims. The crowd cheers loudly and fists shoot into the air. Technically she’s not wrong, she is married to Jimmy Urine, lead singer of MSI.
She launches into a track from her newest album “The One, The Only…” and the venue fills with the sound of “gothabilly” Claret’s self described style of music. The title fits very well, as she combines the steel guitar and up-beat sound of Rockabilly with the hard tones, and drums of goth music.
Claret jumps and struts across the stage like a ballerina who finally learned to move with the music instead of sticking to the routine. Her set only lasts half an hour, but the energy she creates lasts through the break between acts.
MSI take the stage one after another, Kitty first, Steve second, Lyndsey third, and finally the ring leader of this rag-tag group of rockers, Jimmy Urine. His spiked up mohawk sports a bright pink dye job, which matches his entire outfit, down to socks and underwear.
Urine moves across the stage like a robot trying to rebel against its programming, spastic, random, and chaotic. The crowd pushes closer to the stage, sweaty bodies pressing against one another. In one corner a mosh pit breaks out.
The band spend the set bantering with each other and hurling insults at the crowd. Instead of being put off by being called “garbage people” the fans scream louder, mosh harder, and push closer. They thrive on the insults Urine spits in their faces. Which describes the music fairly well, angry, insulting, and aggressive.
The set lasts an hour and a half, MSI plays fan favorites like “Stupid MF” and “Cocaine.” The sound from CD to stage cannot be matched, the winner here is clearly the live performance. Half the fun of being an MSI fan is potentially getting sweat on you from one of Lyndsey Way’s infamous backbends, or having Jimmy Urine single you out for being an asshole.
The crowd could not love it any more, and neither could the band. This is where they belong, every person in the room feels it. MSI forgoes the traditional encore performance.
“Encores are fucking bullshit!” Urine spits over the crowd. “We know we’re playing more music and so do you. So let’s do this the democratic way.”
The crowd votes on their favorite of three songs, “Bitches”, “Straight to Video”, and “Bullshit”. “Bitches” wins easily, and the band launch into their last song with a type of passion you can only see from a band whose closing out a long stint of touring.
Seeing MSI live is so much more than just listening to the metal-punk-electro music, the entire performance centers around these performers and their stage presence. Sadly the fearsome foursome will hang up their instruments for a while, and take a well needed rest. But damn did they go out on a high note.