This was the third time The Dead Milkmen have swung through Boston since they first reunited in 2008, so I was curious to see how they'd do. The first two times are usually glossed over with the pure excitement of seeing a band you didn't think you would ever have the chance to see. Once a band is on their third pass and second reunion album, they're just back. Of course, the Milkmen were still spectacular for this show, playing with more energy and passion than any other reunited band I've seen in years. While they played a good chunk of their newer material, they delved far into their back catalog and pulled out some near forgotten classics. "Nutrition," "Methodist Coloring Book," "Dean's Dream," "Surfin' Cow," and holy shit! Is that "If I Had a Gun?!??!!?" While the rant before "Bitchin' Camaro" had been about violating the corpse of Archbishop Cardinal Law's mother and making "Dream On" the MA state song over "Roadrunner," this time was a kinder, gentler story about meeting The Damned while playing Riot Fest. What's truly great is how well their new material fits into their classics. I did miss the local cover tradition, though.
I was curious to see how The Dead Milkmen's audience would accept Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys. The Milkmen are a pretty barebones and straightforward alt-punk band, and the Broken Toys are much more theatrical and fantastical. While the crowd seemed confused at first, they got pulled right into the folk/punk/metal/burlesque/all around freakshow that is a Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys show. They played "Bully Boys" from their Shockheaded Peter performance, and really sucked everyone into fandom with "28 Seeds," my favorite of theirs live. They closed with their covers of "Paint it Black" and "Ghostbusters," proving that a viola can be a punk as fuck instrument.
As always, head on over to www.deadmilkmen.com or www.armyoftoys.com for more info on either band. Video below is from YouTube user john doherty.