ZEKE + the Black Halos + Vulgar Deli @ Cabaret La Tulipe

By T-Bone - The Beer OClock - 11/13/04

So it was Zeke, the Black Halos, and Vulgar Deli at La Tulipe. This was Zeke's first time in Canada. Sonny, their old guitar player had a criminal record which made it impossible for Zeke to cross the border in the past. Now that he is out of the way, Zeke as a three-piece crossed the border and did a full Canadian Tour, playing all the little buttfuck towns, as well as the major cities...

My night was filled with trying to get from one party to the show back to another party. So we ended up coming to the show while the Black Halos were playing. It is too bad because I really wanted to see Vulgar Deli play. From what I heard, Costa, their lead singer was, well Costa. I don't know if you remember the old Montreal hardcore band, Blood Sausage, but Costa used to sing for them. Well, Costa is simply himself, i.e.: rude, obnoxious, and full of piss and vinegar. He has one of the best voices in hardcore and knows how to push buttons to start a rock show. So even though I didn't see it, they probably kicked much ass as I was told.

Then came the Black Halos. Like my friend told me, she had to go to the back of the bar while they were playing because she was too tempted to throw a beer bottle on stage and knock the singer out cold. Would have made the wait for Zeke a little less long; sometimes for humanitarian causes, one must use violence. The Black Halos I believe are from Seattle, but used to be from Vancouver and started as the Black Market Babies. Again you may know or not know that the drummer for the Black Halos was the old drummer for Sparkmarker, the great emo band from Vancouver. I was also told that the singer for the Black Halos was the old singer for Okara. I knew that Matt, the old bassist for the Black Halos, played in Okara and now is playing for Blood Meridian, but I didn't know about the singer. Anyhow, enough geneological mapping. The band musically was alright. However, their style was deplorable. Let me explain: when I saw The Black Market Babies (the Black Halos under a different name) open up for the 25th anniversary of DOA in Vancouver, I remember shedding a tear when I saw the drummer for Sparkmarker wearing baby blue tight leather pants and talking how all the boys got their hair done professionally before the show. Nothing much changed in six years. There is still a cross between a fairly good sounding rock band à la Dead BoysPoison and AFI. If that's not enough to make you gag, I don't know what is. You see, when I am too busy heaving, it is really hard for me to concentrate on the music. I guess my attentional capacity reached it threshold through the gag reflex. What really amazes me is that Zeke took them out on tour. I guess you can't judge a book by its cover. But when the cover is the Black Halos, it is hard not to. The singer was still the same: pissed drunk, slithering on stage... The first time I saw them, I thought it was an act because I didn't think you could be this drunk on stage and that out of control (minus David Yow of Jesus Lizard) but I guess you can. He ended up at the end of the set sprawled out next to the drum kit, his tight leather pants half off, trying to get up but too loaded to do anything. You know when it is David Yow, it is art, it is fucking pure rock, it is a fucking show. When it is the Black Halos, it is like a cheap cracked out whore that you feel pity for. I shouldn't be too hard; dissing the Black Halos is like being hard on someone who is mentally retarded because he doesn't understand quantum mechanics. It just isn't fair, they suck, and so be it, they make bands like Zeke just look better.

The only flaw with this show aside from the Black Halos was the bar itself. They were simply booked in too big of a place. Foufounes would have been ideal. There might have been 200 people at the show, but it was booked in a show space that could hold easily 600. The stage is about 5 foot off the ground, so you get the idea. The place was somewhat empty. Zeke came on played their blistering songs for less than hour. They got pissed off at the crowd and left, when they should have gotten pissed off at the space for being too big. Zeke were amazing but they were really helpless on stage; there were simply not enough people to make the place erupt and get people really moving. They seemed frustrated, but we were also frustrated. It was a lost cause to begin with. Again, don't get me wrong, Zeke kicked ass in such unfortunate circumstances. They didn't play very much off the new record and really stuck to all their old stuff. Is Zeke gonna come back to Montreal? I hope so, but not at the La Tulipe. Maybe with Motorhead, who knows, hope we see you again, Zeke, in better circumstances.