All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020

Lydia Lunch’s Retrovirus Infects The Tote

My partner is a longtime fan of Lydia Lunch. We have framed signed posters of Lydia throughout our home as a solo artist and with Rowland S. Howard in Shotgun Wedding. So for the better part of the last 6 years or so, I have been living with Ms Lunch all around our house.

Once Sam got wind of the Tote gig, she went and purchased two tickets to the show tonight. No chance in hell she was going to miss this one.

As we were getting ready, she says to me “Take your camera…” I wasn’t going to oblige as I just wanted to check out the gig as a punter (for once) but hastily I took it along.

By the time we got to the Tote, the place was already packed and we caught the beginning of openers Pearls‘ set. Never seen these guys before but I came away impressed and making mental notes to scope them out on Bandcamp. Great, great band.

By the time Lydia hit the stage I assumed the position at the front and told my girlfriend I’d meet her after the show. With the packed throng in attendance, there was no way I could move away from where I was so I pretty much ended up shooting the whole show.

Her band, featuring some Alt/Punk luminaries such as Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers, Cellular Chaos, Behold The Arctopus), Tim Dahl (Child Abuse), and Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Chrome Cranks, Five Dollar Priest) – were incredible. Watching Tim Dahl play the bass directly in front of me was a sight to behold. The guy is a phenomenal player. At one point he passed his unopened beer bottle to me to help him open it but I had no way of getting the darn thing open for him. Between songs Lydia went back to her magic purse which seemed to be filled with all sorts of goodies and provided a suitable bottle opener for him in the shape of a cigarette lighter. No idea how that works people!

From my vantage point for the entire set, Ms Lunch was behind a music stand. It proved an incredible task to take a photo but I just patiently waited for when she was away from the stand to take the shot.

Still, it was simply a superb gig and to be able to witness it all from the foot of the Tote was pure Rock And Roll magic. Granted, it was incredibly difficult to get a decent photo, as a punter, I really enjoyed the gig.

I caught up with my girlfriend straight after the show and I could just tell from her reaction that indeed, it was a great gig. I’m glad she enjoyed it and I am also glad that I tagged along…

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