Suicidal Tendencies relay messages of hope

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By Gina Velasquez


After a long hiatus and 13 years since their last studio album, Suicidal Tendencies is back. 

The band performed for scores of fans at the Sunshine Theater May 9, with the same intensity that have kept concert-goers coming back for more than 20 years. 

Their new album, release in March is called “13,” appropriately so.

The hard-core punk group has gone through a revolving door of band members over the years but always kept front man Mike Muir, who formed the band in 1981. The current members are Dean Pleasants on lead guitar, Eric Moore on drums, Nico Santora on rhythm guitar and Tim “Rawbiz” Williams on bass guitar. Santora and Williams offered riveting solos to get the crowd riled up for more moshing. 

Former lead guitarist, Mike Clark, helped form Waking the Dead, one of three opening bands. 

Muir belted out the lyrics to classic tunes the audience sang along to. And still “danced” his signature gyrating thrasher moves. The crowd went wild with a mosh pit full of people, some of which were body surfing. Although some of the audience expressed it was their first time seeing Suicidal Tendencies live, many more had seen the band perform in the past, mainly in small venues. I, myself, saw them in Chicago at the Riviera Theater back in 1993.

The wide range of ages in the audience pleased Muir, as he invited a young teen on stage because it was his birthday. Mike and the crowd egged the kid on to shout into the microphone, “My name’s Anthony, and it’s my birthday!” 

Muir continued to rile up the crowd by offering a sing-a-long to the macabre lyrics of “I Saw Your Mommy.” 

Being yourself and never giving up seemed to have been the theme. The opening song, “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” has poignant lyrics that express individuality, courage and the will to stand up for oneself.

Another song that got the audience’s attention for a sing-a-long was the anthem to teenage vs. parental distress — “Institutionalized,” which was their first single to hit airwaves back in 1986. 

“How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today,” another tale of teen anguish, boasted another sing-a-long. In between these two songs, Muir offered words of wisdom, that applies to all, not just teens. 

“If you fall, and fall, and fall…it’s OK. Just know you have to get the (expletive) back up!” 

The three opening bands got the crowd’s blood pumping and ready for the main show. Albuquerque’s Stabbed in the Back, Sick Of It All and Waking the Dead rounded out the evening for some moshing excitement.