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Skinny Puppy @ The Glass House 10/30/09

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To kick off their 30-date “In Solvent See” tour, the Canadian industrial rock entity known as Skinny Puppy gave an intimate performance at Pomona’s Glass House the night before Halloween.

Skinny Puppy has been around since the early 1980’s so it struck a satirical cord when vocalist Nivek Ogre made his slow, teetering entrance while grasping onto an enormous walker.

Decked out in a white costume that was equal parts Klu Klux Klan member and mythical Japanese robot-monster, Ogre was a striking figure to behold in his three-foot-tall pointed hood, faceless mask, and stiff sleeves that passed far beyond his fingertips.

Ogre’s body movements on stage were those of a decrepit, rusting machine, while his voice carried all the potency of the force hidden behind the cumbersome alter-ego.

In contrast, cEVIN looked his usual minimalist self in a black tee-shirt, baggy shorts, and long dreadlocks that gently billowed upwards from the fans blowing next to the keyboard that produced sounds of “Pedafly.”

The stage was devoid of any props, save for a sweeping screen placed above cEVIN Key’s electronic lair and a large transparent box that was positioned in the upper corner of the stage.

Every few minutes Ogre would saunter into this hockey penalty box to remove an article of clothing, change his mask, or reconfigure the image pattern that played on of the screen above the box. At one point blood was spilled inside. The red liquid was sloshed aggressively against the clear glass, dripping down in long strips as audience members eagerly communicated their approval.

Skinny Puppy played an agreeable mix of songs, with a few rarely performed tracks making it onto the set-list. They attempted to end the show with their well-known favorite off their first album, “Assimilate,” but the crowd just wasn’t quite ready to say goodnight yet.

After indulging the audience in prolonged anxiety of “will they or won’t they encore?” Skinny Puppy returned to the stage, this time with Ogre stripped down to a paper-thin white tank top, shorts, and only a smudge of dirt covering one side of his face. They played “Worlock” with simple lighting and no theatrics, an intimate ending to Skinny Puppy’s first show of the tour.

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