Skinny Puppy @ The Fillmore Silver Spring – April 19th 2022
Skinny Puppy @ The Fillmore Silver Spring – April 19th 2022

Live Review: Skinny Puppy @ The Fillmore Silver Spring – April 19th 2023

It’s been six years since Skinny Puppy last toured, and a decade since their last album, but the 40th anniversary of a group that has been so influential to both industrial rock and electronic music needs to be recognized. And so the band has embarked on an extensive “final” tour, one last celebration of their legacy. Last Wednesday, they came to The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD to play for a packed house of black-clad fans, many of whom had been following them for decades.

Word that frontman Nivek Ogre had gotten sick in Pittsburgh two nights before and had to cancel the show there at the last minute had almost certainly filled everyone with concern, but if there were any remnants of his illness left at that point he hid them well. Through an energetic, nearly two hour long show, he prowled the stage first in a black cloak, which he then removed to reveal a large alien mask with lit up eyes. Throughout the show, a somewhat obscure narrative seemed to develop, with another figure wearing a helmet with a mirrored visor capturing and torturing him.

All the while, electronic wizard cEvin Key kept the music going from behind a wall of synthesizers and other gear so high around him that he was barely visible to many in the audience. Also backing him were touring members guitarist Matthew Setzer and drummer Justin Bennett. The band played an extensive setlist covering nearly their entire catalog (with songs from all albums except for 2011’s hanDover), and returned for two encores.

Will this truly be Skinny Puppy’s last run? In a world where so many “final tours” end up just being “final for now” it’s hard to say, but if it is their last they’re going out strong. Just in case they mean it about not returning, fans would do well to catch them this time. If nothing else, hopefully we haven’t heard the last of Ogre’s ohGr project or of Key’s many side projects.

Opening the night was another industrial music legend, Paul Barker (formerly of Ministry, as well as numerous other bands including Revolting Cocks and Puscifer), with his project Lead Into Gold. Barker released his latest Lead Into Gold album, The Eternal Present, two days after the show.

Skinny Puppy setlist

VX Gas Attack
Love in Vein
Human Disease (S.K.U.M.M.)
Hardset Head
Morpheus Laughing

The Choke
Dig It

Deep Down Trauma Hounds

Smothered Hope


Skinny Puppy

Lead Into Gold

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