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REVIEWS Wantagh - New York'03

God Save The Sex Pistols exclusive reviews!

Wantagh NY - Jones Beach Theatre: 21st August 2003

Set List: Bodies / Seventeen / New York / No Feelings / Did You No Wrong / God Save The Queen / Liar / Belsen Was A Gas / No Fun / Submission / Holidays In The Sun / Pretty Vacant / E.M.I. Encore: Anarchy In The U.K. / Problems.
Soundcheck: Holidays In The Sun / No Feelings / Problems / [thanks to Mike 'Dead Virgins']

Review No. 1
By Eliot Wien

It was quite a night. One that I'll remember for the rest of my life! First my friends and I drove into the parking lot, only to see all the great Punk Rockers of New York City...The Fans! The opening act was Reverend Horton Heat. Next up was Dropkick Murphys. I was sitting near the stage, and was able to see backstage. I was watching the Pistols walking around and talking with people before they came on. The Buckcherry CD that Steve Jones produced a few years ago was played prior to the Pistols coming on stage.

Then the time arrived......Johnny takes the stage, and advises the audience, "Because of immigration, we couldn't rehearse, so Like Us or Die." Johnny looked great. The whole band looked great. There was definitely a UNITY on stage, because they didn't rehearse, but they knew what to do. The sound was great! They pretty much did the Bollocks album plus Did You No Wrong, No Fun, Belsen Was A Gas. At The beginning of God Save The Queen, Johnny stopped the band and yelled at the crowd..."C'mon, we didn't write these great songs for nothing!" and then the band started playing again, and the audience started singing! With reference to the venue itself, John stated "Tommy Hillfinger", and raised his middle finger. He also commented..."You Americans sure know how to pick your allies....Brits!" At the end of the show, Johnny also commented...."My band has left the stage....If you want more, you know what to do!" Then they came back, and did Anarchy In the UK/USA, and Problems. There's not a negative thing you can say about this show. You can't make comments about being fat & 40, because the band is in great shape, and playing better than ever! Steve looks bigger, but when I was standing next to him, it was mostly muscle. You can't be fat and play football like Steve does!

After the concert we drove back into Manhattan to the famous Chelsea Hotel on 23rd Street. This was of course the site of the Sid & Nancy story. In the basement was the After Party. I had the chance to meet all the Pistols. In the past, I had already met them at various shows like The Neurotic Outsiders, and Chequered Past, and the 1996 tour. The first one to arrive was Glen Matlock. He was wearing a T-shirt with various Pistols slogans like "Pirates of Destiny". The next person to arrive was Paul Cook. Then Johnny arrived. Johnny noticed my friend David Peel, and said "Hey, David Peel.....Let me get myself situated, and I'll be right back." The next to arrive was Steve Jones. I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Jones. We talked about Iggy Pop & The Stooges, and how he wanted to see them on Wednesday at Roseland, and he was telling us about the Blah Blah Blah sessions with Iggy. We also spoke about the release of Transmission by Violent Delight, and that it's coming out this upcoming week. We also spoke about his guitar. I mentioned Phil and the God Save The Sex Pistols site, Steve says "Hello", and was happy to hear that I was reveiwing the gig for the site. Other people at the party included original Sex Pistol photographer and friend of mine, Bob Gruen. Also spotted were members of the New York band, The Star Spangles.

Review No. 2
Rick Jacobsen
Reverend Horton Heat opened (Texas punk-rockabilly), then the Dropkick Murphys played (lots of Irish fans there to see them, with flags). The Murphys play punk, but also have an accordion and a bagpipe player. The Sex Pistols then came out and played for just over an hour. Johnny came out and said that you could blame US immigration for delaying their arrival until the day before, so no rehearsals. "Like it or die!", he said. Still, they sounded great! Johnny screwed up the lyrics to a couple of songs, and then Steve Jones would look over at him, and Johnny would try to get it right. Johnny completely blew the opening to God Save The Queen, and about 25 seconds into it, Steve just stopped the song, and then they started again.

Bare-bones stage, no backdrop. Johnny re-titled Belsen Was A Gas as Baghdad Was A Gas. And twice he said how lucky the US was to have the Brits as our allies. Johnny was in great voice, slimmed down from last year, and very entertaining. About 3/4 through the show, Johnny said that he'd have to lead us in a "sing-along with Johnny", because he'd "blown out his bagpipes", but he still sang all the way to the end. Funniest moment: at the end of the set (before the encore), the band left the stage, and Johhny didn't know, so he kept talking without any idea that he was out there alone. They played the usual songs, everything from the album, plus Did You No Wrong, No Fun, but no Stepping Stone or covers of Hawkwind or Creation songs, or My Way. Johnny looked and sounded MUCH better than at the Pistols at the Palace show in 2002. Encore: Anarchy in the UK and Problems.

I picked up a program, but didn't notice until later that it was for the Pistols at the Palace show - they didn't have any new stuff for this tour! But I brought my 15-year-old nephew, and he loved the show.

Review No. 3
By Mike from the Dead Virgins

The Pistols rocked the night away. Johnny reminded us all that they hadn't rehearsed due to the Visa problem. The set was very loose with minor vocal flubs, a small mishap during GSTQ where they had to restart (funny, same thing happened Boston - wonder if it's intentional?). Steve spent the majority of the night hiding his guitar playing by keeping his back to the audience. John was full of fun, being more playful and appreciative then I ever recall him being. He even slipped in a bit of "Hello I Love You" (All Day & All Of The Night) during Submission. The crowd enthusiastically sang along with every word, sometimes reminding Johnny when he should be singing. John's voice still had shades of PIL, unlike the 1996 tour when he sang in more of a Pistols vein. Otherwise it was a blast. Thanks for finally playing No Fun (unlike 96), and Belsen. I wonder if John will keep announcing Belsen Was A Gas as Baghdad Was A Gas?

Review No. 4
By Brendan, Bronx, NY
The Sex Pistols took New York by storm and reminded us what a real punk rock band is all about!!! It was amazing watching the band perform. Even when Johnny Rotten messed up some of the lyrics it was still great! It was an intense show. Its is great to see a band enjoy their fans and give them, the fans, their money's worth. Truly amazing!! God bless them! And rock Baghdad!!!

Review No. 5
By Serpentile
Excellent show! The Rev Horton Heat and Dropkick Murphys were very good. The Sex Pistols - what can I say? Fantastic! They are still so strong and serious, funny and current! John Lydon is just such a good performer and is just an angry, talented, energetic person. They played many of their songs, which are just as relevant as ever, and just as I expected, they gave a great show and I was so glad to see them!

Review No. 6
Just got back from Jones Beach show. All in all, I would say it was a very good show. I think they were a little rusty, although I would see them again in a heartbeat. I missed all the previous US shows, but I did see Sid Vicious when he played Max's Kansas City over 20 years ago. Tonight's highlight for me was seeing and hearing all the crowd sing, "I wanna be Anarchy", unbelievable, I mean everybody! Great show, so glad I went. Punk lives on. On another note, if they added a couple of Professionals songs I think the crowd would have gone even wilder. Cheers.

Review No. 7
By Kellie Levin

The Sex Pistols were awesome! Seeing them was an incredible experience. Regardless of the fact that they were a little rusty due to lack of rehearsal time, they kicked ass! We got to hear, as Johnny Rotten put it best, "raw Sex Pistols!" They had less equipment than the average club band, but their sound and energy was that of a band with 20 times the stage gear. Johnny Rotten was as animated as ever. One lucky fan was the recipient of one of his patented snot-rockets and that was after Johnny had already ridiculed the security person about his offensive stench and had shot him with one as well. The disappointment of the night was the lack of attendance. It's hard to believe more people didn't come out to support one of the best, most influential bands that ever existed.

Of course they played all the classics off Never Mind The Bollocks… finishing up with Anarchy In The U.K. and Problems. Seeing them live was the best!!! For me, no one song stood out more than the other.

And for all the shitty Avril Lavigne and Green Day fans, remember the words of Johnny Rotten… "Anarchy is a way of life, not an internet fashion!"

©2003 Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net
All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission.

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