This was one of the more interesting shows I’ve been to. It was billed as a “benefit for the UXO” featuring Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, taking place on the “Rocks Off Concert Series” on a cruise around the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. Not to get too into it, but the UXO is an organization founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who oppose the respective wars. They chose “Fleet Week” in NYC to stage their concert to try to make an impact on currently enlisted members of the military. The format of the cruise was a mix of speakers and bands, headlined, of course, by Jello.
Jello is one of the most accessible “rock stars” you will come across. A certifiable living legend to many, he could have very easily spent the entirety of the cruise hiding in the bowels of the ship until it was time to perform. Instead, he chose to hang out amongst the crowd during the performances, taking pictures, signing autographs, and talking with everyone who asked. I was immediately very, very regretful that I didn’t bring my “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” LP for him to sign as I had originally planned. It was a trip to be standing on the deck of ship as we circled the Statue of Liberty, only to look to my right and see Jello Biafra standing there 5 feet away.
The show itself was a throwback to the hardcore shows I used to attend at various VFWs and community centers back in the day. People beating the crap out of each other in the moshpit, fights breaking out, crowd surfing, people pressed towards the front screaming the lyrics into the mic. For a bunch of “left-wing, anti-war, commie pinkos”, this crowd sure was violent. Due to the violence of the crowd as well as a large amount of airborne water bottles, I had to do a lot of ducking and weaving during the set, resulting in poor song quality, but Jello’s rants are clearly audible, and those are worth the price of admission alone.
Included here is the Dead Kennedys classics “Bleed for Me” (nice rant on this track, including a pretty sharp rebuke of the Obama administration), “Holiday in Cambodia” and Guantanamo School of Medicine track “New Feudalism“.
Rocks Off Cruise – May 28, 2010
The Terror of Tinytown
Bleed for Me
Let’s Lynch the Landlord
California Uber Alles
Holiday in Cambodia
I Won’t Give Up
Download: Jello Biafra: Bleed for Me (Live)
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Download: Jello Biafra: New Feudalism (Live)
[jwplayer config=”CustomPlayerAudio” file=”http://www.thesoundofindie.com/archive/2011/20110216/Jello-Biafra-New-Feudalism.mp3″]
Download: Jello Biafra: Holiday In Cambodia (Live)
[jwplayer config=”CustomPlayerAudio” file=”http://www.thesoundofindie.com/archive/2011/20110216/Jello-Biafra-Holiday-In-Cambodia.mp3″]