DEAD MEN WALKING, LA RECORD – REVIEW
Photos and words by David Valera
“This is a rock concert!” How dare anyone in the crowd at the Troubadour stare into their cell phones while the legendary British punk rocker Ian Rubbish (aka Fred Armisen) is right before your eyes. This musician is a god among musicians and deserves your full attention.
Rubbish was part of a special one-off show as the punk rock mega supergroup featuring Captain Sensible (The Damned), Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats), Mike Peters (The Alarm), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses), and Chris Cheney (The Living End) played several songs from each members’ respective musical groups as well as covers from Stooges, the Misfits and the Beastie Boys. Fred Armisen (SNL/Portlandia/fearless band leader) joined the megagroup for a few songs. The Pirates of the Caribbean-like stage was dressed with skulls, bones and skeletal paraphernalia. The biggest crowd pleaser of the night belonged to the Living End’s “Prisoner of Society,” which Peters described as “the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ of punk.”
Before the show started, Peters came on stage speaking of his personal battle against cancer and the Love Hope Strength foundation charity ‘Saving lives – One Concert At A Time.’ Patrons could complete a registration form, sign a donor consent form, and have a cheek swabbed. Data is then entered into the National Marrow Donor Program registry.
A Lovely Night: Fred Armisen Joins Punk Supergroup Dead Men Walking Onstage in L.A.
by Lynsday Parker – Yahoo Music
Saturday Night Live alum turned Portlandia star/Seth Meyers bandleader Fred Armisen has a bona fide background in punk. He was once married to Sally Timms of the Mekons; he’s played drums for the Grifters side-project Those Bastard Souls, the Blue Man Group, and Les Savy Fav; he had a cameo in the Flaming Lips’ cult movie Christmas on Mars; and long before he went into comedy, he was a member of the Chicago punk band Trenchmouth in the 1980s. His 2010 “Fistfight in the Parking Lot” hardcore skit for SNL, playing in a fictional reunited ’80s punk band alongside the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, is the stuff of comedy legend.
So Armisen fit right in when he joined the punk-rock supergroup Dead Men Walking (featuring the Damned’s Captain Sensible, Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan, the Alarm’s Mike Peters, the Stray Cats’ Slim Jim Phantom, and the Living End’s Chris Cheney) at Los Angeles’s legendary Troubadour on Sunday night. Introduced by Side One Dummy Records honcho/ex-Wax frontman Joe Sib as the “greatest rock band of all time,” Dead Men Walking and Armisen tore through a setlist of punk- and hard-rock covers, including one of Armisen’s favorite songs, “Long Gone,” by one of his favorite bands, the Damned; Armisen explained that he thought that song had the best lyrics he’d ever heard, and after that performance, he got down on his knees and bowed right at the jovial Captain Sensible’s feet.
With and without Armisen, Dead Men Walking also performed the Damned classics “Neat Neat Neat,” “Wait for the Blackout,” “New Rose,” and “Smash It Up”; the Stray Cats’ “Runaway Boys,” “Rumble in Brighton” (retitled “Rumble in West Hollywood”), and “Rock This Town”; the Alarm’s “The Stand,” “45 RPM,” and “Sold Me Down the River”; Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (which McKagan sheepishly dismissed with “enough of that rubbish!”) mashed up with the Monkees’ “Stepping Stone”; and, garnering one of the best crowd responses of the night, the Living End’s “Prisoner of Society,” which Peters described as “the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ of punk.” They also treated the sold-out audience — which included Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, Orange is the New Black‘s Natasha Lyonne, and Ramones widow Linda Ramone — to covers of the Stooges, Nick Lowe, the Misfits, and the Beastie Boys.
But the highlight of the set had to be the first encore, when Armisen returned to the stage dressed as his circa-1977 Britpunk alter ego, Ian Rubbish.
“Ian Rubbish” famously performed to mark Armisen’s final SNL appearance last year, singing “I’ve Had a Lovely Night” with Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag’s Carrie Brownstein, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis, indie-rock power couple Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, and the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones (see clip below)… and as he reprised that song with the all-stars of Dead Man Walking, as well the Ian Rubbish & The Bizarros originals “Hey Policeman” and “Maggie Thatcher,” the same feelgood, punk-rock vibes flowed at the Troubadour.