Published Apr 05, 2010"There's always room for Jello."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We've all heard that little corporate catchphrase in reference to former Dead Kennedy's singer Jello Biafra (aka Eric Reed Boucher) for the past three decades. Still, it rings surprisingly true, as the 51-year-old wailer with a distinct lisp and endless political agenda proved that his latest project, the Guantanamo School Of Medicine, is claiming its place in the annals of punk.
Looking like a bastardized version of something from the Beatles' original Yesterday and Today album cover, Biafra stormed out on stage sporting a medical smock coated in blood, slamming into tracks from the band's debut effort Audacity of Hype.
Freaking out while screaming his brains into mush, he led an impressively tight band: they stood back, allowing him to wind up and let fly. Peeling off the red-soaked cloak, the singer then revealed a nylon U.S. flag shirt while raging about the deterioration of his homeland. While it would have been eerie and awkward on anyone from the Bible Belt, on Biafra's back, the blouse was nothing but tongue-in-cheek hilarity.
A few more rants later and the band forged ahead with more album tracks, wisely peppering the show with those highly anticipated Kennedy's tunes every fourth or fifth song. Performing "California Über Alles" through "Let's Lynch the Landlord" and "Holiday in Cambodia," spotlessly, the School proved themselves just as agile as the band that spawned those classics.
Most impressive, though, was how animated the opinionated front-man still is after the better part of a half-century. No less aggressive, fiery or engaging than he was at his youngest, Biafra stormed about, flailed his arms, grabbed audience members, shoved his microphone in their faces and at two points dove off the stage into the thick of the action without ever missing a beat. In effect, he had more piss 'n' vinegar in those aging bones than most attitude-laden "punks" seem to muster up in their prime.
At that, Biafra once again proved that, even after decades, the co-opted motto for a dessert treat holds more value when tagged to him than it does for its intended product. Besides, if there wasn't room, he'd smash his way around to make it.