By Cesar Glanville
—I would be remiss if I didn’t start this review with an acknowledgement of the fallen brother who was killed shortly after the show when he was violently attacked right outside the House of Blues. Rest in Peace, brother.—
When you hear ‘final’ these days do you really believe it – we lost Skinny Puppy for years when they broke up and since the return its never felt like it was held together with industrial strength glue (pun intended). So when we hear final tour, and they haven’t released a new album in a decade, maybe we should believe them?
So here we are, the final night of their 3 day run at the House of Blues Chicago, holy cow was this show oversold . This show was magical in a few ways, as the guys say – Chicago is like a second home for them – and as the capital of North American Industrial, it only makes sense. The gave us plenty of special treats for the send off, more on those in a bit.
First an acknowledgment of this current line-up, Mathew Setzer on guitar and industrial go to drummer, Justin ‘Thyme’ Bennett, bring a great backing foundation for the boys and of course lets not forget ‘Mr. Everything’ Dre Robinson running around adding to the show in numerous ways. The show is a visual and sonic assault, how Ogre can do an hour and forty-five minutes in an alien mask is beyond me, but he did
– and he may not throw himself around as much as he used to but he still commands a stage, and delivers vocally. cEvin, behind his cockpit of electronics, seemed to take it in as much as deliver the sonic landscapes that define the SP sound.
The set started with how most of the leg of this tour has as they blasted through ‘VX Gas Attack’, ‘I’mmortal’ into the classic ‘Rodent’. The set was a tapestry of edge to noise to anthems showcasing something form just about every album. If you’re going out you go out with offering this loyal fanbase some special treats, and boy did they.
When the encores hit we were treated the first performance of ‘TFWO’ in almost a decade and then the real cookie when they dusted off ‘Rash Reflection’ for the first time in over 30 years into another seldom heard song ‘Far To Frail’. The only fitting way to send us off in Chicago is throwing down the song that had 2 lives – one as an OG Skinny Puppy banger, then as a metalized version with Ministry with Ogre barking both, of course I’m talking about ‘Smothered Hope’. If this truly is the swan song for this legendary band they did it right: Thank you Skinny Puppy.
For more on Skinny Puppy, click here
For photos from the show, click here
Setlist: Skinny Puppy, live in Chicago at House of Blues – Last night of residency – Nov 15th, 2023