WOW TALES: Lords of Acid, with Devora, Praga Khan

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Lords of Acid, with Devora, Praga Khan

 

The WOW Hall set an earlier-than-usual door time for a Tuesday show (6:30 p.m.) in anticipation of four performers on the bill, but one dropped out leaving some extended break in the evening — but we appreciated that if nothing else Lords of Acid fans are very punctual. Great crowd turnout for this show, with most donning black leather or other goth and dark apparel. They dubbed this tour the “Make Acid Great Again Tour” — in reference to the music genre they’ve helped define over a nearly 40-year career of pushing boundaries, sexual exploration, tongue-in-cheek humor, and genre-melding music experimentation.

Opening the show was Devora, an L.A.-based singer matched with two New York backing musicians. Their sound was really interesting, a bluesy rowdy bar band approach matched with a touch of some industrial beats mixed in — think if ZZ Ward melded with Kidney Thieves. Dressed in black leather, it seemed like Devora could fit in across multiple genres, with one foot in alt-country and quickly pivoting into heavy industrial, a dash of Old 97s and a little KMFDM for extra flavor. They had some very fun songs and the early crowd seemed to be into the performance, and several in the office noted that people wished they had played longer.

Soon the headliners took the stage, or at least SOME of them. See, Praga Khan is the stage name for the Belgian electronic music musician behind both Lords of Acid and his solo project as well as Channel X and Digital Orgasm. This set was much more aligned with 90s electronica, including a rousing rendition of arguably Praga’s biggest impact on culture for those of the 90s generation — the Mortal Kombat soundtrack! Those in the know who recall huge chunks of our lives spent playing Mortal Kombat and downing Code Red Mountain Dew or some other long-since discontinued sugar drink were in nostalgic bliss. Joined on stage by longtime collaborator Jade4U, this current tour also marked a reunion that Praga was quick to point out in between songs — the shows were the first time drummer Olivier Adams had performed on tour with Praga Khan since 2001, which got a huge rousing applause from the crowd.

Not a lot of stage changeover was needed from Praga Khan to the Lords of Acid set due to much of the same gear being used for both groups, with Lords of Acid hitting the stage around 9:45. This group has earned its legacy in the EDM and industrial music scene as one of the pioneers of the genre, their first singles coming out in 1988 BEFORE Nine Inch Nails took the sound mainstream. Known for highly sexualized song lyrics and BDSM-themed stage shows, the band hit the stage dropping some serious low-end between the cacophonous synth beats, live drums, and matching bass and guitarists as an all-out assault on ear drums. Vocalist Gigi Ricci, in a dominatrix costume and sporting a leather whip she proudly waved around for much of the show, let the crowd know she was sick but still determined to give the audience a great show, “because that’s what you deserve!” The crowd roared, and in turn the Lords of Acid brought some serious energy all night; if they were under the weather it sure didn’t negatively impact the performance.

Running through a string of their classic hits from the 80s and 90s and more modern tracks spanning the group’s seven albums, on multiple occasions Gigi invited women up on stage to dance during various songs. Other times Gigi was scaling our P.A. system speaker stacks for a better view of the enthused audience packed onto the WOW Hall floor, all the while removing various bits of her costume as the night wore on. During one song the band tossed a blow up doll into the crowd, which got passed around in the audience like a beach ball for much of the remainder of the performance. Another highlight was having Jade4U return to the stage to dance and lead the crowd on the chorus for the group’s song “Worship the Lords” — donning a large cardboard sign that read “PRAISE THE LORDS” and the reverse-side “FUCK THE REST” to get the crowd chanting along to this absolute headbanger of a track. For the band’s biggest hit, “Pu★★y” from their 1997 album Our Little Secret, the stage was flooded with female audience members invited up on stage to dance along.

Thank you to our Eugene audience for once again packing the WOW Hall, and of course to all the staff, volunteers, and security who make memorable nights like this possible again and again at the WOW Hall. Check out some photos and video from the show below.

 

-Kurt

WOW Hall Marketing Director

 

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