BUCKFEST 5: Starbuck & Les Impuissants @ Le Playhouse

By Johnny Suck - Turn Down the Suck - 02/11/2006

Most of the time, the reason why I go to a show is for the music; other times I go to be cool, and every once in a while I go to see a 500-pound man swing a jug of water from his cock ring. The latter was why I made my way over to Le Playhouse on Saturday for Buckfest 5.

On the bill was Bunchofuckingoofs, Starbuck et Les Impuissants, Les Vieilles Salopes, Les Petits Paquets and “autres bands à confirmer”. I think it was Les Petits Paquets who were playing when I got there. They weren’t particularly good, just typical shitty small-time punk; I was glad that I missed most of their set. Up next were Les Vieilles Salopes, who are also typical shitty small-time punk. They were likable enough, but not really noteworthy; we’ve all seen them many times before. Les Prostiputes were one of the TBA bands. They played a nice 50’s style rock with a solid dose of punk thrown in. Unfortunately, it was only during their last song that I realized that I had already seen them before -- and pretty recently too. They were enjoyable but entirely forgettable.

Urban Aliens were another TBA band. “What the hell? 'Autres bands à confirmer' are supposed to be on at the beginning of the show, not snuck in the middle,” I thought. I was starting to get tired and annoyed, because really, I was just there to see Starbuck et Les Impuissants and didn’t give a damn about anyone else. Luckily, Urban Aliens turned out all right. They were a good blend of punk and metal, with a singer that has a distinctively Hetfield-ish voice. They’ve been on my radar for a while, so I guess I was glad to have finally gotten the chance to see them -- even though I was still annoyed that I had to watch so many bands. Finally, after UA were Starbuck et Les Impuissants. Time to get my $7 worth from this show!

I’ve seen Starbuck et Les Impuissants a few times before, so I knew what to expect. For a quick primer, click here, here, and here. As a rule, I’m usually not into gimmicks -- I just want to rock. But S&LI are a definite exception to the rule. I went to be visually entertained and visually entertained I was. The band came out in their various costumes: Starbuck wearing a crown, face paint and a Canadian flag as a skirt, the bassist wearing a diaper and a mask, and so on… The get-up is good for a chuckle, but to keep an audience’s attention for 40 minutes, there needs to be a performance. And that’s what this guy is for. He doesn’t actually play any instruments; he’s busy doing other things. He starts off innocently enough: sticking pins through the flesh on his forehead, forearms and chest. He even sticks a few straight through his cheeks. Needles are fine, but darts are better: those get jammed right in his, um, other cheeks. Then out comes the stapler; staples to the arms, staples to the face, staples everywhere! All the while he’s having fun, I have a huge fucking grin on my face, and a whole bunch of people have their video cameras out. My full attention had been placed on him, but after awhile I took a look over at Starbuck who was all bloody and had his flag-turned-skirt shoved right up his ass. “Huh, I wonder what I missed,” I wondered. That thought didn’t last long though; the other guy had started sticking hooks through his chest, in the flesh behind both nipples. Those hooks were then connected to a rope that had three bricks looped onto it. Impressive. For some people, however, hanging bricks off of hooks in their chest just isn’t enough. Some people feel like going all the way and hanging those bricks from their cock ring -- and then swinging the bricks in the air… I’ve never looked so intently at another man’s junk in my life. I even took a step forward and craned my neck to get a better view. It was amazing, hilarious and even a little confusing (really, why was I enjoying it so much?). I had already seen this before -- done with a jug of water, as in the picture -- but it was still glorious. You haven’t been to a show until you’ve been to one that has a guy doing the Dick Brick Trick. I can’t imagine what could have been done to top that, so once he unhooked the bricks and put his skirt back in place, he left the stage. The rest of the band stuck around -- they were playing music or something. After politely waiting through S&LI’s last three songs, I took a look at my watch and saw that I was going to have to choose between Bunchofuckingoofs and the last metro. It was a cold night and Le Playhouse is a long way from Atwater. Needless to say, Bunchofuckingoofs lost. I didn’t care; I was happy and had gotten my $7 worth. Time to leave…

Ahhh, but the night doesn’t end yet. There’s the ride home where I get to contemplate everything I just saw. Why do I find this entertaining? Is there anything wrong with finding it entertaining? What exactly is it that is entertaining about it? Why can’t I just be happy staying home watching the Olympics/sitcoms/reality television or playing WoW like everyone else (seriously, things would be so much easier if that were the case)? I had a few more questions, but couldn’t really come up with any satisfying answers. If you have any ideas, let me know.

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