In six-and-a-half-years of living in Nashville and going to shows, the sickest gig I’ve seen was without question The Jesus Lizard’s 2009 reunion tour kick-off at Exit/In. It was the reconciled noise-rock quartet’s first stateside appearance in a decade, the band’s savage sound was potent and menacing as ever, and singer David Yow’s gravity-challenging alt-rock acrobatics were in full thrust. If you missed it, well, that’s just a mistake you’ll have to live with for the rest of your incontrovertibly unfulfilled life.
Last weekend, local comedian, resident Cream podcast personality and Alcohol Stuntband rocker Chris Crofton offered said sitter-outers consolation when, on the very same Exit/In stage, he channeled his inner Yow, fronting Jesus Lizard tribute troupe Gladiator and recapturing some of that sweaty 2009 sludgefest’s magic. To make the tribute all the more authentic, Crofton & Co. tapped original Jesus Lizard guitarist and Nashvillian Duane Denison, who joined Gladiator on three JL classics: “Puss,” “Mouth Breather” and “Then Comes Dudley.” ChannelNonFiction captured the Denison portion of the performance and posted it on YouTube (see above).
Likewise, the Lizard’s 2009 Nashville gig was immortalized in the Matt Robison-directed concert film Club. I'm posting that flick after the jump, in case you wanna give Gladiator and the real thing the Pepsi Challenge treatment.