Bottom Lounge Chicago
Saturday May 18 2019

Killing Joke’s Laugh at Your Peril 40th Anniversary World Tour 2019 makes a stop at the cozy confines of the Bottom Lounge in Chicago.
Talk about peril- had to bolt Chicago’s Open Air Metal Festival, missing all of System of a Down’s set to make sure I get to the Bottom Lounge in time for Killing Joke’s set.
And the traffic…talk about a cluster fuck getting to the Stevenson expressway heading east to the West Loop.
But made it I did, and I wouldn’t miss this for the world.
So much has already been said about the influential nature of Killing Joke, as well as it should.
But wether it’s a small venue, outdoor summer festivals (like Riot Fest from 2018), or larger venues- it doesn’t matter. Killing Joke come to play.
This show, like all Killing Joke shows, celebrates the tribes getting together, relishing in downright anthemic and memorable songs, singing in unison and might to thwart all the bullshit it means to live in this modern day and age.
An apocalyptic band if there ever was one, Jaz Coleman, Geordie Walker, Youth and Big Paul Ferguson know how to tear up stages left and right, and play each night if it was their last.
Killing Joke are a band that are next to impossible to pigeonhole for over forty years, and that stands up to the individual musical tastes and personalities that make up all things Killing Joke.
As Jaz Coleman so adequately puts it: “Killing Joke’s music must send a shiver down your back, descending from the Almighty, or death”.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Having come this far- forty years on, Jaz Coleman knows full well that from its inception, all he expected from Killing Joke was a good laugh, and everything after that is just a bonus. It’s mind blowing for him, to see the band as it is now, still functioning and accelerating on all cylinders.
Jaz knows full well that people hold this band in such revelry, constantly citing Killing Joke as one of the most influential bands in the world, which when you think about it, is amazing and oh so true.
Jaz and his bandmates see Killing Joke as a sacred and holy mission and this current and in the moment Killing Joke as the most exciting phase with a lot of work still ahead of them.
It’s so pleasing to the ear to hear that Jaz can’t ever see them stopping, that the only thing that will stop them is death.
Their objective is simple: one by one they will bury each other until there’s one man left standing.
Which certainly is conveyed time and time again with their galvanizing live performances.
And they come out at the Bottom Lounge with guns blazing.
Opening with “Tomorrow’s World”, from 1980, into a newer track “Autonomous Zone”, into “In Excelsis”, well- you get the point.
Killing Joke songs are forward thinking, meant to punish and convey righteousness, and question everything.
So to hear the anthem “Eighties” midway through their set not only sounds the alarm bells even to this day, similar to “Wardance” and “Corporate Elect”…I’m surprised that the Bottom Lounge didn’t implode from audience to band- band to audience.
Killing Joke lives on, and I for one can’t get enough of these guys.
I hope the pictures convey some of the carnage from the show at the Bottom Lounge.
Long Live Jaz Coleman, Geordie Walker, Youth, Big Paul Ferguson, and all things KILLING JOKE.
Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer

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