Jesus Lizard Headlines in the City

Jesus Lizard, reunited after a 10-year hiatus, dropped in on the Bay Area in the middle of a weekend that saw The Butthole Surfers playing with The Melvins,

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Josh Keppel
Jesus Lizard played a sold-out gig at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Saturday, October 17, 2009, right in the middle of a strangely coincidental 1990s rock weekend including: The Butthole Surfers, The Melvins and NoMeansNo playing Friday night and The Flaming Lips / Stone Temple Pilots in a Battle of the Bay on Sunday night.
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Jesus Lizard singer David Yow saluted the audience before the music started while he got showered with spit from the fans.
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About 15 seconds into the first song, Yow jumped into the crowd and sang most of the song from on top of the fans.
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Just another day on the J-O-B for Yow.
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Josh Keppel
Yow brought the show to the fans, jumping into the audience over and over during the nearly two-hour show.
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Diócesis de Phoenix
The fans in the front row had to help out as much as the bouncers did to get Yow safely back on stage each time.
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Josh Keppel
They were happy to oblige.
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Before the show, some were speculating that singer David Yow had "lost his edge." I'd say he was in great form, repeatedly jumping into the crowd, thrashing around on stage, and doing a great job singing the songs.
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Writer Jon Longhi said, "David Yow (whose distinctive screams have been compared to a kidnap victim howling through the duct tape over their mouth) is quite the front man."
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After Jesus Lizard broke up, guitarist Duane Denison joined SF resident Mike Patton to play in Tomahawk. Denison played an amazing solo at the end of Jesus Lizard's first set at the Fillmore.
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The show, on Saturday, October 17, 2009, was at the beginning of the U.S. tour that finishes up in Chicago, IL at the end of November. To see all the dates, check this page: http://www.touchandgorecords.com/bands/band.php?id=78
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David Yow has another band called Qui that has played small venues in the Bay Area like the Hemlock Tavern in SF.
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Yow helps Denison with a little air guitar.
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At one point, Yow said, "This has been great, playing these shows because we are not a band. We are just some guys playing some music, but we aren't a band. What you are seeing is an illusion." Hopefully they can continue the illusion long enough to come back to SF for another show.
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Yow was off the stage and in the crowd all most as much time as he was on it.
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The people in the audience were happy to hoist Yow up above them, often stretching out to just touch a piece of his body.
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Drummer Mac McNeilly
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Yow used to be in the band Scratch Acid.
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Singer David Yow had fun with the fans at the show, often chatting between songs and regularly making contact with them.
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A few weeks ago, all of the band's Touch and Go studio albums were remastered and re-released.
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I didn't realize how bad some of the lens flairs were in the shots I was taking, but this one around the head of guitarist Duane Denison I kind of like because it reminds me of an old religious painting with a halo around the subject.
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At one point in the show, Yow told the lighting guy to stop with the smoke. He also cried "Uncle" when asking the audience to stop spitting on stage.
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Because of Yow's unpredictability, security would only let me shoot from one side of the stage.
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Bass player David Wm. Sims.
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David Yow starts to show some skin... He did keep his pants on this time.
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If you are a fan of Jesus Lizard, chances are you also like the Butthole Surfers, The Melvins, NoMeansNo, and maybe even the Flaming Lips... all bands who played in San Francisco the weekend of October 16-18, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Christie Piontkownski and Anthony Sestich of St. George, Utah flew into San Francisco for a day just to see the show. "We're the f***in' radest of the rad," Piontkownski told me after the show.
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Josh Keppel
Someone with me at the show said they thought David Yow "is what Bill Maher would look like if he really cut loose."
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David Yow has an impressive personal hydration system, with a seemingly never ending supply of spit to shower upon the stage.
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Yow says, "Alright, enough time standing on the stage, it's time to get back with the people."
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View from the front row.
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"Yeah, I got David Yow's boot in my hand, what's it to you camera boy?"
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Getty Images
At one point in the show, David Yow crowd surfed all the way to the sound board at the back of the venue, with mic and cable in hand, singing the whole way. A friend of mine who was in the balcony told me Yow punched some guy in the audience on his way back up to the front of the stage.
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Yow really seemed to be enjoying himself.
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The people in the front row seemed to be having a great time as well, relieved they didn't have to hold Yow up for the entire concert.
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The people in the balcony were loving it too, with probably the best view of Yow's antics. If you look in the doorway at the right, you can see Mike Patton, singer of another recently reunited 1990's band, Faith No More. The blond on the left is Robin Coomer from Shake Well, a local band that played the after party at the Boom Boom Room.
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Patton (left, with vest on) and Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison play in Tomahawk together, but it was singer David Yow that Patton had his eyes transfixed on for most of the show.
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David Yow and Duane Denison
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Drummer Mac McNeilly
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At the end of the show (before the five-song encore), guitarist Duane Denison played a searing guitar solo and then left the stage to bassist David Wm. Sims who was playing amazing bass all night long. Sims played a solo and walked off stage leaving drummer Mac McNeilly to break it down to just the drums before he took off. It was a great ending to a powerful set.
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During many of the songs this was the view, the three musicians on stage rocking out and Yow somewhere in the audience.
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Josh Keppel
Towards the end of the show, someone in the audience was dangling a dollar bill that was too far away for me to see the value of. Yow reached into the crowd, grabbed the bill, and nonchalantly tore it up into tiny pieces that littered the stage or got thrown back into the audience.
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Calm between the storms.
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Towards the end of the show, Yow floated around the audience waving and when he got back up on stage he said, "Hey, security! Everyone here is a prick! Why won't you wave at me? Only eight people waved..." Fitting ending to a great show.
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Matt Foley (right) and Sam Rosenberg (center) hold up the set list for writer Jon Longhi. Foley and Rosenberg live in Portland, OR and came down for the show. Foley even went down to San Diego to see Jesus Lizard kick off the tour at the Casbah.
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Here's a close-up look at the set list for the night.
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Rondi Diaz from Eureka, CA hides behind a free poster from the show.
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Anthony Sestich and Christie Piontkowski of St. George, UT hail a cab to get some rest before flying home the next day. They said the show was well worth the trip out.
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Bruce Penn from "San Francisco, 94115" can be seen outside of the Fillmore "helping" concert goers hail cabs and towncars.
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A group of people from Eureka, CA drove five hours down the 101 for the concert. After the show, the spirit of Fillmore Slim was channeled by, "Humboldt's famed rapper/pimp Rice Cube" (center) who kicks it with his homies (clockwise) Jon Fisher, Hannah, Whitney Wert, Danielle Graham, and Todd Lawson.
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