Voodoo Glow Skulls
with Symposium, Independents, and Welt
Sapphire Supper Club, Orlando • August 9th, 1998
David A Clark
Consummate veterans of the punk circuit, the Voodoo Glow Skulls brought their brash and brassy brand of musical mayhem to downtown Orlando Sunday, August 9. Their confident stage presence immediately took charge of the crowd, which was truly a sight to behold. Half the crowd was awestruck, standing there with mouths agape, completely engrossed in the high-energy presentation. Unfortunately, they were getting bulldozed by the other half of the crowd, which was busy demolishing the venue with a vengeance brought on by the intense emotion and raw energy of the West Coast punk musical montage.
VGS is on tour to support their newest Epitaph album, The Band Geek Mafia. According to trombonist Brodie Johnson, this latest effort is “a little slower, a bit tighter, and better produced.”
The guys craftily wove a tapestry of old and new material, ever careful to keep one step ahead of the expectant audience. The band’s music is tight, unrelenting, and about as subtle as a stampeding rhino. Frontman Frank “Potatohead” Casillas, with his Benito Mussolini strut-and-pose style of showmanship, belted out the tunes in a voice that can split atoms and pulverize mountains.
Is the band showing its collective age? Not hardly; they are simply growing into a more mature mode, musically speaking. “We have a harder edge,” said Johnson. “More punk, less cheese.”
The first band, Symposium, was a British punk-pop fabrication which had the audience wondering if everyone had accidentally wandered into the wrong venue. The Independents, taking the stage looking like some Goth group, quickly turned into a schmaltzy poseur band of vague, indistinct influences. The highlight of their set was when the lead singer struck a path through the crowd, having certain individuals yell “Fuck you” into the mike. Welt, although third on the list, certainly was the best of the opening acts, with a forceful punk style that got the crowd primed for VGS.
All in all, it was an eventful night at the Sapphire. We can always hope the club manager will book more such shows like this in this normally more sedate venue.