Words – Clare
Photos – Mitch
Friday night we headed to the Croxton for the ‘Still Cyco Punk After All These Years’ Suicidal Tendencies tour celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their self-titled debut album released in 1983. I am always ready and willing to show up for Suicidal Tendencies when they come to Australia. Once you join the ST family you become a member for life. These were obviously the sentiments of all the OG fans in Melbourne as this was a sold-out show, so much so that they added another night in Melbourne at the Corner Hotel just to host the overspill.
For the first warm-up of the evening we are entertained by thrash pop power duo ‘Mannequin Death Squad’. This pair were super loveable and they rocked some huge 90’s punk pop vibes with some rock undertones. They kept their set pretty tight playing tracks from the 2022 album ‘Super Mental Psycho’ and from the 2016 album release ‘Eat Hate Regurgitate’. We also got to hear a couple of tracks that I believe are yet to be released to the public. They began with ‘San Fran’ and ‘Sick’ and when they completed ‘Nightmare’ the pink-haired guitarist Elly and the shirtless drummer Dan switched roles! Elly took over the drums and Dan strapped on the guitar and copped some serious air with his jumps and kicks. ‘It’s good to be back in our home town’ exclaimed Elly, and seeing as they had just finished up their Europe and India tour, you could tell they really meant it. After a couple more fun tracks including ‘Van Gogh’ and ‘Honey Punch’ they swapped instruments again the track ‘Nobody Gets Me’ finished the set. ‘Thanks a lot Melbourne, have a fucking wicked night!’.
The next band was brought on for Friday night’s show for obvious reasons. Not only had they already toured with Suicidal Tendencies back in 2019 but this band is punk to its very core. ‘Wolfpack’ is a not-for-profit thrash punk band that have raised 10’s of thousands of dollars for charities. The profits from this night were going to support charities including Wildlife Victoria and Second Chance Animal Rescue. They blasted through their set with the simple setup, two guitarists and a lead vocalist on drums. It was a hard and fast set which included a cover of ‘Breaking the Law’ by Judas Priest in a classic thrash punk style. You could tell they were all having such a great time up on that stage, the guitarists had smiles plastered on their faces while the riffed. Before they completed the last track the drummer shouted out to the crowd ‘Take this energy here tonight and put it out in the world. We are Sui-Cyco family and Sui-Cyco family can save the world!’.
The venue was now packed, shoulder to shoulder with Suicidal Tendencies fans, many representing the band in true style with a sea of bandanas, flipped-up hats, and ST jerseys. Mike Muir finally arrived on stage joining his current touring crew Ben Weinman (from Dillinger Escape Plan), Dean Pleasants, Tye Trujillo (son of Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo – and former ST member), and Greyson Nekrutman. We all knew we were being treated with the debut album ‘Suicidal Tendencies’ in full but throw in a few other gems including ‘You can’t bring me down’ from the 1990 album ‘Lights… Camera… Revolution!’, 1999’s ‘Cyco Vision’ and ‘Freedumb’ which featured a wicked drum solo. The entire set was high-energy mania but there were some definite highlights of the evening. ‘I Shot the Devil’ was a track that got the mosh pit pumping, and ‘Subliminal’ was epic with the crowd singing along to the chorus.
By the time we got to ‘I Saw Your Mommy’ the room was charged up, we saw the first crowd surfing for the night and everyone, including myself, sang along. If you’ve ever seen Cyco Miko perform then you know he loves to introduce each track with what I like to call ‘mini Mike musings’, where he reflects on childhood memories, politics, things his dad used to say and life in general. This performance was no exception. Mike power talks through a story about his brother skating for the first time and knowing that his life would be forever changed by it, and how he taught Mike to get back up when you fall, the next track ‘Possessed to Skate’ was dedicated to all the skaters. During ‘War Inside My Head’ from the album ‘Join the Army’ released in 1987, the swarm of fans were pumping their fists while Mike roared ‘Melbourne, get your fucking Cyc on!’, then unexpectedly guitarist Ben Weinman stepped off the stage and was immediately held up by the outstretched hands of the mosh pit goers. Like some kind of demented Jesus walking on the surface of the water, Ben Continued to walk on the surface of the mosh while holding onto the rafters until the rock saviour was returned safely to the stage.
Approaching the end of an already frenzied set, Mike gets the whole army of fans to chant ‘ST’ in order to ‘Pledge Your Allegiance’ and again in an unexpected turn, Mike starts pointing at people in the crowd below and invited them up on stage. Then all of sudden, those people helped other people up and we had a full blown stage invasion. Half the venue was rocking out with the band ’S….T….S….T!’. Then in a perfect crescendo, Suicidal Tendencies kicked off what I believe to be the ultimate track on their debut album, ‘Institutionalised’ which ignited the fans on stage, they thrashed and sang along until the end.
Thanks to The Croxton Bandroom crew for having us and a special thanks to Maricmedia for arranging media access.
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