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REVIEWS Los Angeles '03

God Save The Sex Pistols exclusive reviews!

Los Angeles, CA-Greek Theatre: 6th September 2003

Review by Dino Everett

On my way to the gig I was somewhat worried about what type of crowd would be there, since I hadn't seen a great deal of promotion for the gig in the local papers, and the Greek is a relatively large venue. As soon as we drove up my worries were gone since the place was packed (probably between 4-5000), only the very top level wasn't filled.

I avoided the Dropkicks yet again and waited out front for their set to end while checking out the growing number of merchandise they had for sale, lots of great new t-shirts like the ones John has been wearing.

The set has been pretty much the same through the whole tour so I won't run down the songs again but will say that John performed this gig with more venom than I had ever seen before. He smashed the mike into his head a couple of times and at one point he stubbed out a cigarette on his arm, and called out to a guy in the front row with, I believe a Dropkick Murphys shirt on, and said "You ain't no fuckin Paddy."

They did do an interesting version of No Fun that I think was sung in reverse order. John made a point of acknowledging that there were no KROQ, MTV or LA Times there, and after EMI, again called out that all record companies are useless. Having seen them now two nights in a row, it just keeps getting better. The band is really strong and having some fun with changing the songs around here and there, and John is on top of his game and improvising lyrics every night that makes the shows completely original. Can't wait for tomorrow in San Diego.

Review by Shonie

I am going to give you the bottom line to this show. It was like a firework display in a morgue! Firstly, the Greek Theater is not the place to see punk/rock bands, it's perfect if you want to smoke pot & watch James Taylor or Santana. Secondly, the security was horrible as I imagined it might be. They didn't let anybody down from the seats to dance, which at a Pistols gig is ridiculous! Luckily I was at the front anyway.

Before the Pistols came on I checked out the merchandise booth but only saw shabby products & crap T-shirts for sale so I didn't buy anything. The Dropkick Murphys came on...didn't like them & went for a beer. At the bar I saw some celebrities walk by. I saw Morrissey who was dressed in a suit! Mark Magraff from Sugar Ray & members of Social Distortion, & Slash. I was still at the bar people watching when the Murphys ended their set & I was listening for Reverend Horton Heat to come on, when I heard Johnny's voice & the Pistols took the stage!

I got to the barrier when they launched into Bodies. Basically the Pistols were fantastic & played tighter than a duck's arse. John was on form & all the boys were as happy as pigs in shit. John was ecstatic to be there, saying stuff like..."Welcome to my home! I really like it here." He was cracking jokes all night & trying to get everyone motivated, but like I said, the gig was like a firework display in a morgue! There must of been about 15 people dancing at the front while the rest of the (probably 3000) crowd just stared! It was very frustrating. The bottom line, the Sex Pistols were fucking fantastic, John made me laugh the whole time, & if the LA crowd weren't so LAME it would have made a great show even greater.

Review by Jimmy Guthrie

Since the godfathers of English punk never seem to come anywhere near my hometown of Atlanta, my wife and I dug up the bucks to take a one-day redeye trip to tinseltown to see the Sex Pistols. Having read some lukewarm reviews of previous gigs, I was a little worried that the show might be a dud. After seeing the kickass onslaught of punk rock that the Pistols delivered, my question for the negative reviewers is, "ARE YOU PEOPLE FUCKING NUTS?!?"

First of all, they were tight as shit. Cook, Jones and Matlock had the perfect sound and played with angst and precision. Their excitement to be playing these classic songs together again was palpable and contagious. Steve Jones, conspicuously absent from Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists", is the ultimate punk guitarist. He duplicated the thick layers of tracks that define the sound of Never Mind The Bollocks, with nothing but a single Les Paul and a tube stack. To the reviewers who say Jones is not a great guitarist, I say, "ARE YOU PEOPLE FUCKING NUTS?!?" Rotten is a mesmerizing frontman, getting away with moves that would make an ordinary bloke like me look like an idiot. But that's why he's Johnny Rotten and I'm the guy writing the review. He has "it". Malcolm McClaren recognized it, Pete Townshend recently wrote of it, and everyone at the Greek was soaking in it. It is the pure balls and genius that Rotten shines with. When others insist on focusing on his aging body instead of his razor wit, inimitable voice and piercing glare, I can't help but wonder, "ARE YOU PEOPLE FUCKING NUTS?!?"

They played the entire Bollocks album, plus Baghdad (Belsen) Was A Gas, and the classic Stooges cover, No Fun. By my count, that leaves only 3 other real Sex Pistols songs: I Wanna Be Me, Did You No Wrong, and Satellite. All the others from the Swindle and Flogging albums are impromptu covers or post-breakup permutations of the band members. Great songs, but you can't expect Rotten to sing Ronnie Biggs' or Ten Pole Tudor's songs. To the people in the parking lot who thought the set list was too short, I want to know, "ARE YOU PEOPLE FUCKING NUTS?!?" The Sex Pistols could not have been better. My wife grew a completely new admiration for the band. I think they sounded as good as they ever have, even in the '70s. I only hope they will include Atlanta on their next tour, as there are a lot of fans here who want to see them. But if anyone thinks I regret my once-in-a-lifetime-24-hour-coast-to-coast Sex Pistols show, I say, "ARE YOU PEOPLE FUCKING NUTS?!?"

©2003 Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net
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