Rock-and-roll, no clothes

jesus lizardThe Jesus Lizard, fully clothed. (Photo courtesy Joshua Black Wilkins)

Hey, ladies! Looking to pick up a dude in his late-30s who values his Touch & Go 7-inch singles more than personal relationships? If so tonight's your Super Bowl, World Series and Stanley Cup all rolled into one -- the Jesus Lizard reunion comes to 9:30 club! Back in the day the band's live show was the musical equivalent of witnessing a bomb explode and then rummaging through the wreckage for an hour or so. Reports from the current tour indicate no change. One thing that has been missing (thankfully?) is a certain part of yelper/stagediver/madman David Yow's anatomy which used to make a very special appearance at some Jesus Lizard shows. That got me to thinking about other rock shows I've attended that could have been R-rated -- or even X-rated.

L7 - Constitution Hall - 1995
The L.A. rockers (along with some Neil Young dude) opened for Pearl Jam at Constitution Hall for a pair of shows in January 1995 for two Voters for Choice benefit concerts. These were extremely tough tickets to come by. It was a lottery system where you had to send in postcards to be eligible. Out of 175,000 entries, 3,000 postcards were picked and those 3,000 people got two tickets. (Ah, pre-Internet days.) I managed to get a couple.

This was when Pearl Jam was not playing shows because of the Ticketmaster feud, so it was an especially big deal. Things I remember about this show: Pearl Jam pretty much ruling, fans booing then-new drummer Jack Irons, lots of "Vitalogy" tunes, Pearl Jam backing Neil Young on the last song, and one of the ladies of L7 rocking the last song of her set completely topless.

(No shirt, no pants -- four more, after the jump.)

Demolition Doll Rods - 9:30 club - 1996
Of the hundreds of shows I've seen at the new 9:30 club, one of my very favorites remains a show that I saw during its first month. That was a January 1996 show by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and yeah, maybe being 15 and always making sure to stand at the front of the stage had something to do with that. But trust me, show was next-level amazing. The opposite was the opening act, Demolition Doll Rods.

Again, it was a long time ago, so memories are fuzzy. Main recollections: Songs that were barely songs, singers that screeched and whined (and usually I like that!) and three band members (one guy, two girls) who wore only underpants and strategically placed index cards upon their bosoms, keeping my Mid-'90s January Nudity Streak alive.

Monotonix - SXSW - 2008
This Israeli hard rock trio wouldn't be much more than just another hard rock trio if it wasn't for the band's over-the-top live shows. Antics include: playing in the middle of the audience, dumping a garbage can on the drummer's head, lighting things on fire, stealing beers (from me) and pouring said beer down pants. And sometimes those antics include pulling down those pants and putting a microphone ... well, you can see the pictures on Brightest Young Things.

Pavement - Lollapalooza - 1995
I wasn't actually at the infamous Charlestown 1995 Lollapalooza show, but it's such a part of Pavement lore that I feel like I was there. (I was really at, uh, journalism camp. Awthum!) Short story: Rain + dirt = mud. Heshers + waiting for Cypress Hill + Pavement's wacky indie rock = mud chunks hurled at Pavement. Mud chunks hurled at Pavement + Pavement getting angry = Spiral Stairs showing mud hurlers his bare backside. (Side note, I love this comment on that page: ("That guy is a [expletive], I was there at that show and they [EXPLETIVE] [EXPLETIVE]. That is why people threw [expletive] at them, they had no talent.")

Lady Gaga - Constitution Hall - 2009
OK, so this one doesn't technically count. Lady Gaga (I dare not state her real name) didn't totally disrobe when I saw her at Constitution Hall a couple of months ago. But I still feel like I saw more than enough of her from my 10th row seats. Let's just say that from that close, her flesh-colored leotard left very, very little to the imagination. I think the word that grossed out our co-workers the next day was "contours." And I will leave it at that.

By David Malitz |  November 19, 2009; 12:39 PM ET Rankings , Underwear
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Does the audience getting naked count? I've seen that at a bunch of hair/heavy metal shows.

Posted by: EricS2 | November 19, 2009 1:48 PM

I was at one of those Pearl Jam shows (sent in 20 red postcards) but I don't recall that. Could have been the other night, tho.

My only concert nudity memory was Woodstock '94, as a number of both genders wore no clothes.

Posted by: Hemisphire | November 19, 2009 2:41 PM

Are you sure about that date for JSBX at the new 9:30? I swear that the last show I saw at the old 9:30 was Jon Spencer between Christmas and New Year's; did they really play DC twice within a month?
I saw Kris Kirkwood get nekkid behind his bass in '86 - fun when you're 16 and have brought a date to the show.

Posted by: gfriday | November 20, 2009 2:39 PM

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