Dead Kennedys, Downtown Brown | Bottom Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Dead Kennedys, Downtown Brown 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., June 27, 9 p.m. 2014

Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s rough when you go see the Dead Kennedys and end up hearing a scab do his best Jello Biafra impression, belting out the opening line to “Kill the Poor” in grand thespian style: “Efficiency and progress is ours once more.” It’s even kind of aggravating. Biafra’s exaggerated, all-nasal delivery is so big-top and bizarre that anyone trying to imitate it mostly comes off like a putz. But ever since the not-so-amicable lawsuits Biafra’s bandmates filed against him over royalty payments in the late 90s, this is the version of the Dead Kennedys we’ve been left with—and of its four members, guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride, and drummer D.H. Peligro were all around for the band’s heyday. While Biafra keeps trucking with spoken-word performances and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, the other three keep playing the Dead Kennedys’ 80s political-hardcore hits, with Biafra’s clever, acerbic lyrics delivered right where they belong (Ron “Skip” Greer has been front man since 2008). And some things about the band’s sound haven’t changed at all—it’s still gonna be great to hear East Bay Ray’s inimitable surf-punk twang come slicing out of an amplifier on the killer riffs from 1982’s Plastic Surgery Disasters. —Kevin Warwick

Price: $20

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