Psychostick live in Ottawa, 31 July 2018

The Very Serious Business Tour w/ Urizen, July 31 – Ottawa, ON – Maverick

When you go past a venue and see a marquee or poster with the names Pussy Goblin, Thünderkok, Urizen, and Psychostick, you know damned well you don’t want to miss the show. I made the journey to Mavericks with an old colleague of mine, excited to give him a glimpse into my world. We got to the venue quite early, and decided to head down to The Koven. We sat at the bar, each of us ordered a pint, and enjoyed the music on the TV. After another drink (or four) we headed back to the venue.

First band to hit the stage was the infamous Pussy Goblin, with what was to be the CD Release show for their album The Sinister Sermon and ironically their last show ever. They played a rambunctious, chaotic set, filled with tongue in cheek (and other places) humor, face melting guitar solos, and guitar picks that were seemingly coated in a generous helping of Astro-Glide. The highlights of their set, for me, were the songs “A Hole is a Hole” and the ironically titled song “The Goblin Never Dies.”

Next to hit the stage was the mighty Thünderkok. The lights dimmed; smoke began to billow out of the paper mache phallus that stood proudly erect center stage. In what was my personal favorite set of the night (taking nothing away from the other bands- they all rocked!) I bore witness to one of the most frantic, high energy performances I have EVER seen. Before the first song was done the band had won the entire crowd over. The beer flowed freely, between bandmates and the crowd, as they tore into songs like “Bongkiller” and “Brood Witch.” I had a tough time deciding if I should be taking photos – which is what I was SUPPOSED to be doing – or banging my head. If you ever get the chance to catch these guys live, do it!

After a couple of trips outside to smoke, and to the bar for more drinks, Urizen finally hit the stage. There really isn’t an easy way to describe Urizen, a band seemingly created when GWAR stole the soggy biscuit Devo was playing with backstage at a sci-fi convention, with the sole purpose of creating some sort of genetically altered musical anomaly (I mean this in the most awesome, sincere way humanly possible). They blasted through song after song, with one of the most over the top, strange and entertaining stage shows I have seen in quite some time. They managed to stay heavy, while still playing through 8-bit melodies on keytar, being experimented on by a mad scientist, and battling a seemingly 15-foot tall one-eyed-snake… all without missing a single beat!

Up next was Psychostick, who are currently touring Canada, and the USA, in support of their latest album Do. Reminding us just how much adulting sucks, they played songs off the new album as well as crowd favorites like “Beer” and “Danger Zone.” About halfway through the set, Rawrb busted out the a blue bucket full of song titles for the crowd to choose from. First out of the bucket, and awkwardly enough, was “Orgasm = Love” from their 2006 album We couldn’t think of a title. When the band finally finished their set, they left the crowd wanting for more. Chants of “PSYCHOSTICK, PSYCHOSTICK” erupted from the crowd as they begged for an encore. As the band took back the stage, my camera ran out of memory, so I finally had a chance to enjoy the band with two eyes. What I saw will remain burnt into my memory for the rest of my life: the entire crowd, drunkenly attempting to Hokey Pokey along to the band. A fitting finish to an awesome show!

Photos and review by Keith Lloyd (