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Boston Weather: 46.0°F | Partly Cloudy

"Sucidal" lead cannon-balls into fans.

Suicidal Tendencies, an all ages show at the Channel on March 31, 1985.

Snow flurries and sub-thirty temperatures did not stop hordes of fans from flocking to the Channel to witness the fury of Suicidal Tendencies. This foursome hails from Los Angeles and has met with unprecedented success for a hardcore band.

Their first LP, released in August 1983 on the Frontier label, quickly received national attention and even obtained substantial airplay on commercial radio stations. "Institutionalized," commonly referred to as "the Pepsi song," established itself as a cult favorite and later became immortalized in the Repo Man soundtrack.

Their success, however, has by no means lured the band into complacency. Suicidal Tendencies continues to refine its sound and yet retains the raw edge to its music which is so appealing to a hardcore audience.

Mike Muir, lead vocalist of the band, possesses more energy than mortal men were meant to be born with. There is no doubt that he is the entity about which the stage presence of Suicidal Tendencies revolves. Muir constantly darts about the stage while belting out lyrics which exude his frustrations with Reaganistic politics and restrictive social norms.

Even the heavy-handed bouncers at the Channel could not maintain control over the show as Mike's enthusiasm soon infected his audience. Stage diving became rampant and all hell broke loose during their performance of "Subliminal." Mike contributed to the outbreak by cannonballing himself into the tightly packed crowd.

In one of his lighter moments, Mike showed that he is not afraid to laugh at himself by doing an impression of Madonna to the tune of "I Saw Your Mommy."

Of the sixteen songs that the band performed, nearly half represented material not included on the release of the first LP. Although "Subliminal," "I Shot the Devil (Reagan)," "Institutionalized," and other favorites from their LP represent a strong foundation for the band, it is encouraging to see the emergence of new material in their repertoire. I hope to see new songs such as "War Inside My Head" and "Human Guinea Pig" on vinyl soon.

For those of you who missed the show, Suicidal Tendencies will be looping back through the Boston area tomorrow night. They will be playing at Jumbo's in Somerville, with Last Stand, an excellent local band, opening the night. Since Wednesday's show is over-twenty only, it will be much more subdued (but by no means calm) than their appearance at the Channel. This will probably be your last chance to see them for a year or so.

Stephen A. Brobst->