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Butthole Surfers brought the weird at the Pearl

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Photo: Edison Graff / Stardust Fallout

The Butthole Surfers played the Pearl last Sunday. Yeah, the venue that also has Maroon 5 and Steely Dan on its calendar. Adam Levine probably won’t be flanked by decapitation videos. Just a guess.

Butthole Surfers shows are as much about experience as music, and in this case that meant optic overload. With the weird-rock Texas quartet cloaked in shadows, it was tough not to stare at a five-screen array as it cycled through bizarre images from films and beyond—the brutally gory (blunt-object attacks, severed limbs, protruding organs), the campy (old aerobics tapes, Richard Simmons popping out of an ice cream sundae) and the just plain strange (a dog morphing into an ape and then a bird).

The music was intense, too, largely stoner-rockish and drawn heavily from the band’s mid-’80s peak. Frontman Gibby Haynes asked any Englishmen in the smallish but supportive crowd to come forward and never said why, and history’s slooowest-moving moshpit developed at some point in the night. Top all that, Steely Dan.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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