If you listened to his sometimes cryptic and seemingly incoherent ramblings between songs, you could always tell what song Mike Muir was subtly introducing during Tuesday night’s nearly sold-out Suicidal Tendencies concert at Mill City Nights. First it was something about sitting around the house and going loony. Later came a rant about people subconsciously “messing” with his head (he used a different word, though). Just before the encore, he talked about running into a friend’s mom.
All those songs in question -- “Institutionalized,” “Subliminal” and “I Saw Your Mommy,” respectively – hailed from ST’s self-titled 1983 debut, which remained the centerpiece of Tuesday’s 90-minute set even 30 years after its release. Seeing the doo-rag-wearing Muir wildly stalk the stage delivering those warped tales of angsty youth at his age (50, probably how old his friend’s mom when he wrote it) was a little off-putting, but the remade lineup of his cult-loved Southern Cali hardcore/thrash band played them convincingly/maniacally on the first ST tour in 13 years. Houston-reared slam-metalists D.R.I. added greatly to the draw, and – if band T-shirt wear is any indicator – may have even been the favorite.
Muir’s crew still went over big, though. “Institutionalized” came right away following the 1990-era whiplashy opening tune “You Can’t Bring Me Down.” The almost exclusively male and middle-aged fans barely had time to catch their breath before restarting the massive mosh pit that took up the club’s entire dance floor. Things died down just a tad as the band worked its way through “Cyco Style” and a couple other new tunes (from the just-released album “13”) alongside other mid-era tracks such as “Send Me Your Money” and “Possessed to Skate.” Muir introduced the latter song by marveling at the sight of a dude skateboarding around some ice and snow patches earlier in the day. By the time “I Saw Your Mommy” came around, I was marveling at the smell of body odor filling up the room. That means it was a good show.