Suicidal Tendencies, Wooly’s, Des Moines, Iowa, May 18, 2014

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Suicidal Tendencies at Wooly’s, Des Moines, IA 5-18-14. Picture by Heavy Metal Feline.

With the addition of ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, Mike Muir’s band Suicidal Tendencies proudly adds to its history of hosting some of the metal genre’s best to represent the Suicidal Army. Ever since my 1994 Suicidal introduction by way of “Institutionalized,” Still Cyco After All These Years, and the “I’ll Hate You Better” purple heart vinyl promo, former lead guitarist Rocky George has been my preferred of the S.T. family. He tastefully and melodically shredded on three of my top releases, Join the Army, How Will I Laugh Tomorrow, and Lights… Camera… Revolution!, and I lament the loss of his presence and influence in the band. However, S.T. will always be Muir’s pet and the cyco crew backing him on 2014’s 13 tour were no slackers.

Suicidal’s violent and funky set at Wooly’s in Des Moines, IA represented most albums, and I was especially pleased to hear “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow,” “War Inside My Head,” and “Subliminal.” Drummer Thomas Pridgen (ex-Mars Volta) was the night’s MVP, with studio session bassist Tim “Rawbiz” Williams locking in tight. Guitarists Nico Santora, Mike Clark’s replacement, and Infectious Grooves’ Dean Pleasants, George’s successor, were a faithful duo. Muir was engaging and energetic, more than expected for his age. Between songs, he recounted various brief anecdotes about his philosophies and history, and gave a birthday shout out to the second longest serving in the Army, Pleasants. All the acoustic evidence you need of this concert was recorded by me for my fellow suicyco muthafuckas!

After the show, my pal and I met the truly friendly “Rawbiz” Williams outside the group’s tour bus and snapped a few pix together. Of course, we wanted to meet Cyco Miko, too, but Williams said it was unlikely, due to the singer’s persistent back pain. ‘Biz proceeded to walk back towards Wooly’s with us and others, and spoke about Suicidal’s then-current tour with Slayer and Exodus, and answered general questions. Such a notable interaction with the bassist made the news of his early death all the more somber. We also met the wacky Pridgen and Santora on their way to a local bar before motoring back to our homes.

To check tour dates with Megadeth and beyond, and maybe buy a flip-billed hat, visit the official site of Suicidal Tendencies.

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