Show Date Reviewed By Venue City
April 1, 2004 Pete Ashton Rock Café Stourbridge, UK
June 27, 2002 Chris The Waterfront Norwich, UK
June 21, 2002 Scott Fae Sheffield Hallam University Sheffield, UK
May 18, 2002
Brian DeAndrade The Station
West Warwick, RI
March 14, 2002 Katie Cowen The Back Room
Austin, TX
March 10, 2002 Tyler Bennett Roseland Theater Portland, OR
February 14, 2002 Donovan The Chamber Atlanta, GA
January 23, 2002 Melinda Deiter Rialto Theater Tucson, AZ
January 2, 2001 to January 9, 2001
Matthias Prill Brazil Tour Braizil

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Dead Kennedys @ Rock Café - Stourbridge, UK
Show Date: April 1, 2004
Review By: Pete Ashton

I sidle up to the edge of the stage to take some photos. Out of the corner of my eye I see a familiar looking bulk tear into the mosh like an rhino embracing the chaos as Phil finally lives up to the long standing joke that he looks like a young Ozzy Osbourne. Fuck this, I think to myself, and bounce off to join him. Punk never died, it just went all ages, spanning the generations in an orgy of sweat and shoving. Old punks, metallers, young goth industrialists, an alarming number of 12 year olds and every variety of black-clad freak you can imagine staggered around in a seething mass of happy aggression. This was Stourbridge, April 1st 2004. The Dead Kennedys were in town and they fucking rocked.

To be honest I was doubtful about this. 25 years after the height of their magnificence and without their lead singer, Jello Biafra, one of the most important US punk bands ever were doing a gig in Stourbridge at the Rock Cafe 2000. Jez had seen a flyer and suggested we all go. Once this had turned out to not be a joke I signed up. What the hell, if it's good then it's good and if it's terrible then it might be terrible in a good way. Add to this that the six of us were all both too young to remember it the first time and too old to have parents who did and the whole thing started to take on levels of irony I usually shy away from. I'm not even a fan in the real sense - sure, I like their stuff a lot but all I own is the greatest hits CD. In fact I don't even own that having mp3'd it from a mate.

The venue was in an industrial estate under what looked like a Dominos Pizza warehouse. "It's in a fucking industrial estate!" someone said, and yes, that was kinda laughable. But I started thinking how perfect it was. If you're going to see a seminal punk band you really want it to be in a total dive part of town. And so we went in.

I was immediately struck with a strange sense of nostalgia as I realised I hadn't been to somewhere like this for a good five years. Here were the beautiful freaks and weirdoes, the losers with attitude, the people who's definition comes from not really having a definition other than a big fuck you to the rest of society. And a love of black clothing. Oh, and a fondness for loud aggressive dissonant ROCK.

The support band were good. Of course I can't remember their name and memories of their music has been somewhat crushed by what followed, but they put on a solid display of OI!, speedy ska-punk with a message. Had they been headlining they could have pulled it off no problem but they weren't and despite their efforts they failed to fill the dance floor. Such is the lot of the support but it did seem a little portentous. Was the crowd really that apathetic? Were we just going to stand around drinking our beers and clapping politely when the main act arrived? Of course not.

As they filed onto the stage there wasn't a whoop of recognition, probably because no-one recognised them, but the guitarists looked a bit old and the singer greeted us with an American accent so it was probably them. The first couple of songs I didn't recognise but Let's Lynch The Landlord got everyone going and the mosh pit started filling. As the intro to Holiday in Cambodia kicked in the place went wild and stayed that way for the rest of the evening.

Musically they were spot on and after 20 years you'd expect that. But it wasn't just a note-perfect rendition of their greatest hits - there was enough noodling (for want of a better word) to prove they weren't a tribute to their earlier selves. Ironically it was Biafra-replacement Jeff Penalty's performance that made it work. While his sneers and yelps channeled the authenticity of the original recordings he was no ersatz copy, taking the songs he loved and making them his own. Of course you could argue this is punk and it's not the technical proficiency of the musicians that matter, more their attitude, in which case Penalty had attitude in buckets and was pouring it all over the audience.

At the end I felt cleansed in a way only possible when you're soaked in the sweat of 50 other people. A punk gig is a glorious thing of friendly violence where you can jump and shove as much as you like in the knowledge that should you fall someone will help you up and throw you back. I hadn't done this for years and I should have done, repeatedly.

- Pete Ashton

Dead Kennedys @ The Waterfront - Norwich, UK
Show Date: June 27, 2002
Review By: Chris

Hi, just thought I'd send you a review of your gig at the Waterfront, Norwich. Can I just say Hi to East Bay Ray, you made my year by coming out and talking after the gig in Norwich.

Having been a fan of the Kennedys since about 1980, I was amazed to see that they were not only touring, but coming close enough for me to be able to go and see 'em.

I didn't know what to expect, but after reading a couple of reviews of the shows in the states, I was really looking forward to a good night, and wasn't disappointed....all the classic tracks were played superbly by Ray, Klaus and D.H., with "new boy" Brandon Cruz really making the whole show come alive. I don't care wot others say, he's as good as Jello at singing, and a nice guy too as we found out at the end when, to our surprise and delight, the whole band came out for a chat and a signing session.

I'd like to thank the band for coming to the UK, being as good as ever, and for not being "big pop stars". Getting to talk to the band is something I'll be telling people about for years to come...even if most of 'em say "who?"

They played Moon Over Marin (my favourite track) Buzzbomb (second fav) all the singles, Chemical Warfare,

Let's Lynch The Land-Lord etc etc etc.

If you ever get the chance, I don't think you'll see anything better than this.

- Chris
(This ain't no way to go to heaven
BUZZBOMB cornered at the 7-11)

Dead Kennedys @ Sheffield Hallam University - Sheffield, UK
Show Date: June 21, 2002
Review By: Scott Fae

Twenty one years after my only sight of the DKs in Glasgow, I finally saw three of the greatest band ever again. It cost me £100 for petrol(I live 250 miles away!),a cheap hotel, drinks and a ticket. The best money I have ever spent.

From the first to the last they were tight, powerful, good-humoured and political WITHOUT the preaching. Sure Brandon missed the odd word but 100 plus of the 700 crowd knew and sang every word anyway. Biafra apologists were thankfully nowhere to be seen, he was not missed.....

Oh and Jello I don’t think we were "ripped off." £8 for five bands and an unbelievably hardworking schedule through UK/Europe. Set list was 17 songs plus "Bleed for Me" ie all the great songs except Riot and before the lyrics turned into verbal diarrhea. Musically the best show I have ever seen, three long demanded encores and the band who came out to talk for 30/40 minutes were grinning from ear to ear - unfortunately not enough skate parks for Brandon, its too cold. I hope the 400 mile bus journey to Aberdeen, Scotland wasn’t too bad. Grateful thanks to all the band, hope you can get to Glasgow/Edinburgh/Newcastle sometime soon, and I’ll try to get to Blackpool 21 July. Dead Kennedys Uber Alles !!!

- Scott Fae, Scotland

Dead Kennedys @ The Station - West Warwick, RI
Show Date: May 18, 2002
Review By: Brian DeAndrade

"These Kennedys are far from Dead"

When I first heard that the legendary Dead Kennedys were touring I was ecstatic. Having been just 14 when they disbanded, I was never fortunate enough to see them live.

Sadly, as this announcement was heard, there appeared to be just as many "no Jello equals no DK's" pessimists as there were those of us who were waiting with baited breath for this show. Anyway their loss, on with the show...

Klaus, Ray and D.H. were fantastic! They sounded as amazingly tight and precise as they could have possibly been. Old school Dr. Know front man (Brandon Cruz) was as good as anyone could have hoped for, considering he was filling the royal shoes of the extraordinary, gifted and unique Biafra, and we were all not just thrilled with his performance, but in awe of it as well. If you think just anyone could have pulled this off, you are sadly mistaken.

The show started with a kick in the face as they blasted right into "Police Truck" The crowd went ballistic and never stopped. The band owned everyone in the club from that point on. They blazed through some popular favorites such as "Nazi Punks," Too Drunk To Fuck," "Bleed For Me," "Holiday in Cambodia" and "California Uber Alles" (personally I was hoping for "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now" instead, but whose complaining?)

The rest of the vibrant set included such classics as "Kill The Poor," "Forward To Death," "Let's Lynch The Landlord," "I Kill Children," "Winnebago Warrior." Klaus' fingers were literally shredding the bass strings on my favorite song of the night, the frenzied "Buzzbomb." The set ended with a frantic version of "Chemical Warfare" that left us feeling as though the building was going to implode at any given moment.

The Dead Kennedys are back and they are as deadly as ever! I saw some faces that I've not seen present at a show in well over 10 years. This tour is indeed something not to be missed. The only real disappointment of the night was the total lack of "Frankenchrist" and "Bedtime For Democracy" material. I have no idea why these 2 monumental slabs were completely omitted, but "A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch," "Jock O Rama," "Rambozo The Clown," "Macho Insecurity" and "One Way Ticket To Pluto" would have made super additions to an already incredible show.

Overall a fantastic show, not to mention you could purchase a quality T-shirt, 3 buttons and a sticker all for only $20.00.

- Brian DeAndrade
Lincoln, Rhode Island

Dead Kennedys @ The Back Room - Austin, TX
Show Date: March 14, 2002
Review By: Katie Cowen

I was at the show at the Back Room last night, and I just wanted to say thanks for reuniting, playing in Austin, and signing my "Bedtime for Democracy" album. I went in to the show not knowing what to expect from Brandon Cruz as a singer, but I came out thrilled to have seen you all. Everyone did such a great job, and it seems like you all are out there for the fans, having a great time, which is really amazing for such a well known band. I was too young to see you back in the 80's so I'm glad I finally got to. To top it all off, not only did I get to see you, but it was definitely the best show I've ever been to. Before yesterday, it had always been a dream to see the band, and now that I have I can't tell you how grateful I am.

- Katie Cowen

Dead Kennedys @ Roseland Theater - Portland, OR
Show Date: March 10, 2002
Review By: Tyler Bennett

The show took place on Sunday, March 10th 2002 at The Roseland Theater, Portland Oregon. The show was very amazing. I had worries about Brandon not fitting my perspectives for a Jello Biafra replacement, but he did it easily, plus so much more. Brandon sang loud, he sang hard, he sang great. To see 3 original DK legends up on stage was enough to make you want to cheer and yell, but Brandon more than filled his part. The show can easily said to be brilliant, amazing, and triumphant. The crowd was wild, excited, and the energy was amazing. You could feel the unity in the air; as Brandon got in your face with the microphone. The DK's were as live and energetic as they were 16 years ago. They gave it they're best, and so much more. Definitely not a show to pass up.

Thanks again Brandon, Klaus, Ray, and D.H.

- Tyler Bennett

Dead Kennedys @ The Chamber - Atlanta, GA
Show Date: February 14, 2002
Review By: Donovan

The Dead Kennedy's (minus Jello) put on one hell of a show tonight in Atlanta. Huge crowd that was really into it. The pit was going strong the entire night with 40 year olds and 18 year olds alike. Cruz was energetic and was in the crowd many times.

Jello, you told us in one of your press releases to judge the show for ourselves. I did and it was amazing.


- Donovan

Dead Kennedys @ Rialto Theater - Tucson, AZ
Show Date: January 23, 2002
Review By: Melinda Deiter

I would love to comment about the recent Dead Kennedy's show that I attended in Tucson, Arizona at the Rialto Theater, January 23rd. I went to see the DK's thinking that I was going to be really disappointed, being that Jello was not in the band anymore. But I left the concert in amazement, I was never so happy to see any band in my life.

I walked in with a pretty bad attitude, thinking that the show was going to be pretty crummy. The members came out, and for the first time, I saw Brandon. I thought, oh he is going to butcher this show up pretty badly. The music started and it pumped right through me, perfectly played, I was very impressed. Brandon started to sing and I was floored, he sounded wonderful. Even better than Jello, without the attitude and preaching. He was so energetic, and the best thing was, he was there for the fans. He was very outgoing and involved the crowd. He'd hand over his Mic and let people sing along. He said, our stage is your stage, and noticed the body guards roughing the crowed up, and told them to leave everyone alone, they were doing more harm than good. He rev'd up the crowd, everyone was so into the show. They had such wonderful attitudes, Klaus and East Bay Ray were joking around on stage and just having a good time. Never EVER what I expected from such a big, well known band. The show sounded perfect and the band members looked and sounded more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. A day I will never forget. I have been a huge fan for many years, and never had I thought I would have the opportunity to see them live.

After the show I had expected to leave feeling great about the show, but something I never expected to happen did. The band came off stage and started to mingle with the crowd. Signing autographs, talking to fans like they were their long time friends. I don't know of any band that would take the time to recognize their fans like that. The guy next to me was practically hyperventilating over a set list that I received. When he found out that he can personally speak with the band I thought he was going to pass out. I never felt so good about going to a concert in my life. Not to mention, the DK merchandise was DIRT CHEAP. I could not believe it. 18 bucks for a long sleeve T-shirt? You can't pick up a deal like that ANYWHERE, especially not a concert. I went in there hoping for Jello, I walked out of there thinking that if he was there, none of these wonderful experiences would have happened. I am glad I missed out on Jello's preaching and attitude, and instead I got a bunch of wonderful musicians with down to earth attitudes and who truly care about their fans. There is so much more I would like to say, but more than all, thank you, thank you so much for the best show in my life, my life is now complete.

- Melinda Deiter

Dead Kennedys Brazil Tour
January 2, 2001 to January 9, 2001
Review By: Matthias Prill

As the promoter of the recent Dead Kennedys tour in Brazil/South America we have been approached by both promoters and press (print and web), from South America, the U.S.A. and especially Europe with questions regarding the recent South American tour and the current Dead Kennedys situation.

As we have been attacked by Mr. Biafra in all kind of media including radio interviews, press statements and similar we now do feel forced into responding to that matter by presenting the facts because we do strongly feel that the public is on purpose mislead and misinformed by Mr. Biafra to shape their opinion in his own personal interest.

1. In contrary to Mr. Biafra's comments, the Dead Kennedys Brazilian tour was a total success with turnouts at an average 1200 paying per night which was more than 20% above the projected/expected.

2. In contrary to Mr. Biafra's comments, ticket prices ranged from 6 US$ (Curitiba adv/door) to a maximum ticket price of 10 US$ (adv/door) (Sao Paulo, first 400 tickets were 8 US$), tickets in Rio de Janeiro were priced at 6-8 US$, in Santos 6-8 US$. No Tickets priced above these values were on sale at any venue and/or for any section of any venue. Official band merchandise/T Shirts were priced at 8 US$.

3. In contrary to Mr. Biafra's comments, there was no "corporate" promoter, agent, sponsor or similar involved at any stage of the Dead Kennedys Brazilian tour. The band and their representatives made every effort to realize the event by being very co-operative and realistic about their demands and financial requirements considering high production costs vs low ticket prices and so on. The whole production was financially based on ticket sales only and no other party was involved financially or logistically.

4. In contrary to Mr. Biafra's comments, the tour was a very big critical success confirmed by the paying public as well as by professional critics and members of the music scene. There was no protest verbal or in print against the tour because of Mr. Biafra's absence. At the very opposite, at several in store signings and especially after the shows the fans expressed their loyalty to the band and not to a single band member in particular. New band member and singer Brandon Cruz was fully accepted and did receive many congratulations after the shows by fans, press, club owners alike.

5. In contrary to Mr. Biafra's, comments there was no misleading advertising to promote the tour, at the very opposite, we did spend a considerably big amount of time controlling artworks and advertising (print and web) from all cities and made sure the current line up is explicitly mentioned. There was no unrelevant photographic material used by us or our local representatives. There were no ticket returns, protests etc at box offices or venues. The tour was never billed as a reunion for the simple fact that it isn't one.

During the time previous to tour start, Mr. Biafra tried severely to interfere into our and the bands affairs by contacting press, websites, calling local (Brazilian) radio stations spreading misinformation & rumors trying to boycott and undermine the upcoming events. It seems that Mr. Biafra thinks of himself more important to the DKs success than he actually is, as this first tour of the DKs in a long time proved without any doubt. It proves that people care about the music. not internal band politics for any reason whatsoever. The impression is that Mr. Biafra calls for a revolution in his support but nobody shows up.

As a promoter who works constantly with a wide range of punk rock acts in between others we obviously took our time to make a decision if we would work with the band when contacted by them. We came to the conclusion that it is up to the people to decide if they want to see the band or not. If you are curious, want to hear the classic songs and want to give the band a chance you buy a ticket and go, if you feel the current line up will not fulfill your expectations and disappoint you…don't go. As simple as that.

We do think Mr. Biafra's attitude and actions are very questionable considering the public image he tries to project. On the other hand, as this tour proved, there are a lot of people who simply do not care what he has to say about the tour (as we do) but prefer to let the music do the talking.

We are not in the position to comment on the relation between the band, Mr. Biafra and Alternative Tentacles but we do recommend the following website for further information...

- Matthias Prill & Partners
MP Tour Management
Sao Paulo-Brazil