Black Lips, Cerebral Ballzy @ The Music Box 06/24/11

The "Bad Kids" of the Black Lips were back in LA last Friday night in support of their Mark Ronson-produced full-length, Arabia Mountain. After a particularly rousing set by Brooklyn-based hardcore punk outfit Cerebral Ballzy (not since shooting GWAR have we had to protect our camera and selves from stage shenanigans, but within the first three songs we'd been covered by projectile beer splatter twice), the Lips took the stage and showed there ain't no shame in a straight-forward rock show.

With the antics of the past seemingly behind them (apologies to fellow photographer Paul Giunta who we may have spooked by regaling tales of vomiting, nudity, and pissing), the Lips were all music and zero mischief, playing new material alongside old favorites and reminding the crowd that, oh yeah, they can actually play their instruments and holy shit, the songs are pretty great.

Arguably, this decrease in crazy and increase in musicianship from the band meant the fans could pick up the slack; the crowd surfing started at song two, if we're not mistaken, and continued throughout until culminating in an end-of-show bum rush that had all band members lovingly accosted by some hyped-up twenty something (we might be wrong, but from the ten second make-out session that we witnessed between a young lady and guitarist/singer Cole Alexander, it appears he won).

Our favorite part of the show, however, was when our friends (and the band's) took us right back to junior high slumber parties. With a toilet papering sesh by lovely hooligans Katy Goodman, Har Mar Superstar, Dirty Preston, Blaque Chris, Alexis Florio, Phil Hoelting and others, the Lips' stage show proved to be (mostly) clean fun, which allowed their raucous, dirty garage rock to take the spotlight.