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Live Report: Type O Negative in Arizona

Electric Ballroom, Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 12, 1997

There’s something odd about watching Peter Steele, the hulking
frontman from Type O Negative, whose detractors have labeled him
fascist, racist and misogynistic. But lately, the 6’7,” 200-pound
Steele is all smiles, waves and cute stage antics. Picture the
doggedly self-obsessed singer/bassist posing under dim, red lights,
wearing a light blue muscle shirt, air-tight black jeans and a
black bass cutting into his thigh, while Gregorian chants and
metal-scraping-metal sounds fill the air already dense with incense
and smoke. Suddenly, the man with cheekbones the size of Brooklyn
cracks a smile and waves beauty queen-style at the front row. Has
Steele become the Madonna of
acid-goth
?

No long ago, Type O was a politically charged soapbox with a rep
for being ultra right wing. Just look back a few years at
politically-charged songs like “Der Untermensch” or
“We Hate Everyone.”
If Tuesday night’s show at the Electric
Ballroom was any indicator, things have changed for the vampiric
foursome. Ever since Steele bared all for Playgirl in ’95, Type O
has ditched politics for peace, love and harmonies.

Their fans, however, haven’t changed much. The room was mostly
filled with multi-pierced goth-heads who looked like victims of a
human dart contest. They hung on every note as Type O waded through
the wet, sludgy “Love You To Death” and a particularly dirgeful
cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl.”

Then they grew quiet when Steele bellowed into the mic, “We
sincerely apologize to the fans of Neil Young for the mutilation of
‘Cinnamon
Girl.’
If it’s any consolation, Mr. Young didn’t like the
version either.”

Clearly, music merely provided texture for a stage show loaded
with sexual innuendo and comedy. Steele rolled his R’s like an
Italian lover throughout the orgasmic grind of “Wolf
Moon”
and suggestively slid his hand up the neck of his bass
during the wet, sludgy choruses of “Christian Woman.” He even
feigned playing his guitar with his teeth as an appropriate
metallic effect emanated from the PA.

The highlight of the evening occurred during “Too Late: Frozen,”
when snow machines on either side of the stage produced a massive
blizzard. Keyboardist Josh Silver, who’s hair has gotten bigger
since the last album, looked like the Puli on the cover of Beck’s
“Odelay” frolicking in a snowstorm.

As if that wasn’t comedy enough, the band launched into a weak
version of the Doors’ “Light My Fire.” “I have a really good song
and we’re here to ruin it,” confessed Steele. It was a promise
well-kept. The goulash that ensued — Steele’s blood-curdling howl
juxtaposed against Kenny Hickey’s watered down guitar riffs and
Johnny Kelly’s surfer beats — undoubtedly had Jim Morrison rolling
(not rocking) in his grave.

In This Article: Type O Negative

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