Dan Reilly There are thousands of artists in Austin for SXSW, and I'll be…
- Posted on Jun 29th 2012 4:44PM by Theo Bark
It came as a shock, then, when it was suddenly announced last week that the quartet would be playing their first L.A. date in 13 years at a new spot called Bootsy Bellows on the Sunset Strip, as part of The Fader and Captain Morgan's Step into the Black music series.
Though the David Arquette-owned burlesque club was perhaps an odd venue for the band's return to L.A., it was, at the same time, a perfectly appropriate environment for Dulli's libidinous booze-fueled R&B/punk love ballads -- dark, intimate, middle-aged and full of free drinks.
Taking the stage punctually at 10:30PM, after a set of club tracks courtesy of Katy Perry's DJ Skeet Skeet, the band launched into their blistering 1998 song "Uptown Again," then burned through their "I'm Her Slave," before the slimmed-down Dulli, known for his stage banter, finally acknowledged the crowd.
"I guess we should keep going. We'll stay in B minor for this one," he deadpanned, before tearing into "Blame, Etc."
Perhaps Dulli's sobriety was to blame for the lack of banter, yet he still found time for drug references and jokes about the venue.
"It's kinda like being in somebody's basement. Who's got the whip-its, let's do it!" he cracked, before playing "What Jail is Like."
"Who's smoking weed, pass it on up!" he quipped. "David Arquette, rolling the joints in the back."
Surprisingly, it wasn't until almost halfway through their set before Dulli took note of the women in the audience, dropping his guitar to serenade his female fans.
"You are getting down lady, I'm into it! I'm watching you. 'I've been watching you like a hawk from the sky,' and girl you are my prey. That's what I would have said 15 years ago, when she was still alive," he joked, quoting Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody."
The debonair singer then proceeded to wade into the crowd, climb a table and belt out the band's recently recorded cover of Marie Lyons' "See and Don't See."
Though his voice appeared to have been run ragged by the end of the set, Dulli continued to run through a cover of young L.A. singer Frank Ocean's "Lovecrimes," "Crazy," and "66," skipping "Fountain and Fairfax," the last song on the set list, which was visible on the stage.
Typically, Dulli could not leave the stage without cracking wise about the club.
"Thank you, good night!" he called. "There's a make-out room in the other room in the basement!"