<b>BAD KIDS:</b> Santa Barbara's punkers turned out in droves for Black Lips' high-octane Wednesday-night set at SOhO.
Paul Wellman

Oh, what a difference a little decorating can do. Setting foot into SOhO on Wednesday night, I was met by a barely full room of scraggly punk kids. The stage was bare, save for a minimalist drum kit, a few amps, and two white sheets made into a slapdash backdrop. Emblazoned on them in black spray paint scrawl was an all-caps “BLACK LIPS,” a cartoon face, and a slice of pizza that set the vibe: These guys came to party.

Lucky for Black Lips and opening act Night Beats, so had the crowd, which quickly amassed to near capacity after the clock struck 10. With the floor packed and the lights dimmed, Black Lips hit the stage and cranked it to 11 with “Take My Heart” and “Family Tree.” Not long after, “O Katrina” sent kids reeling into a wave of circle pits, raised fists, and spilled beers. Swirling light projections added a welcome wave of psychedelic trippiness to songs like “Lock and Key” and “Modern Art,” both of which highlighted frontman Jared Swilley’s gravelly whine and drummer Joe Bradley’s knack for nailing the galloping beats. Still, the night hit its freak-out climax with “Bad Kids,” the Lips’ loud and fast calling card, which had SOhO’s floors shaking long after it was all said and done.



1. “Take My Heart”

2. “Family Tree”

3. “Cold Hands”

4. “Not a Problem”

5. “Ghetto Cross”

6. “O Katrina!”

7. “Raw Meat”

8. “Noc-A-Homa”

9. “Dumpster Dive”

10. “Short Fuse”

11. “Time”

12. “Lock and Key”

13. “New Direction”

14. “Bad Kids”

15. “Modern Art”

16. “I Saw a Ghost (Lean)”


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