October 15, 2023 (Lakewood, OH)
The Foundry Concert Club in Lakewood (OH) was about to be taken over by Bill Manspeaker and his band of misfits. With a bawdy two-plus hour set, Green Jellÿ had one of the funnest, wildest, and weirdest shows I’ve caught – probably ever.
The band is made up from touring and regional musicians. Showcasing some of the “worst” acts (according to Bill) from the four corners of the Earth. SUMMP, Seenloc, Thinky Flesh, and Lazy Ass Destroyer all played part in a variety show that kicked things off, with some of those musicians, folded into the Green Jellÿ set.
With a lineup that switches musicians as they travel across the country, you really never know exactly what to expect and what shenanigans you are about to behold. There’s a quiet beauty in that.
SUMPP was the first act to open “variety hour”. A solo multi-instrumentalist, featuring digital looping, effects, and guitar playing – with lyrics that had you on every word. Albeit every word when structured in song form came out like a teenager making up songs while on acid. His tongue-in-cheek approach, coupled with his talent in humor made for a fun romp to start off Bill’s experimental shit show. (Photo gallery at end of article)
Spitting rhymes was Seenloc and his partner in crime Baby Girl, his dog. Maybe more like alien dog. While some dancing ensued, Seenloc kept things on the weird scale as he skillfully spit his lyrics about aliens and other oddities over the beats from his phone as various musicians played along. (Photo gallery at end of article)
Thinky Flesh was holding down spot number three. The members would later all perform with GJ, but had an interesting set of sadistic sounding new wave music in store for us. A post apocalyptic Blondie sound is probably a close comparison. Known as Slim Jelly, this front-woman is not short on showmanship as they blazed through their presentation. (Photo gallery at end of article)
Lazy D – Lazy Ass Destroyer was next up, complete with his Drunk 2 shirt on. Dishing out rhyme infused rock and punk, your drunk uncle of the evening Lazy D worked the crowd while his band kept the music solid. These musicians would also join GJ once their set was over, and Lazy D would become one of Bill’s favorite punching bags for the night. (Photo gallery at end of article)
After a very short intermission following the variety show, it was time to prep for Green Jellÿ. Sound check was complete, puppet heads were piled up, and a stage full of various holiday blow-up decor was being inflated. As the stage was filling with a dozen or so musicians, it only took Lazy-D a couple of attempts (and a few minutes) to find a rickety enough chair fitting for a Green Jellÿ performance.
As the band started, the packed-in crowd sang along to “Green Jello Sucks“. As those lyrics were being repeated, Bill stood on the chair, removed his pants, and threw them in the air so they hung from a fan blade high above the crowd. A quick recruitment of seventeen fans escorted backstage was the last small detail for this punk rock puppet show.
It was on.
They ripped into “Three Little Pigs” as the seventeen punk rock puppets flowed onto the stage. You couldn’t tell where the crowd or the band was, as everyone was fully immersed into this shit show. Band members were even in the crowd, celebrating the 30th anniversary of this classic.
“Little Pig, Little Pig, Let Me In!”
I could hear Lazy D behind me spouting “Not By The Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin” as the crowd moved left to right in slow moshing fashion.
We were even graced with two awesome additions to this song, a banjo solo, and an accordion solo.
Bill would randomly chastise and yell at the band, or Lazy D in particular when he continued to fail at various tasks assigned to him throughout the set. Everything was done in jest, but when threatened with an outcome of Bill’s balls in your mouth, they also listened – and we laughed.
I was caught up in the melee, but it seemed they played a bookend version of “Three Little Pigs” of sorts, finishing up the night with the other bookend of the song. The rest of the evening was just a blurry, fun trip through this craziness sandwich. “Electric Harley House” was infused into the set alongside a mosh version of “Ring Around The Rosie” and “Coming ‘Round The Mountain“.
During “Obey the Cowgod” it was time to worship some bare cow ass, and do a little cow crowd surfing.
Lazy D and Slim Jelly got their turns at fronting songs while Bill and company tossed the large stage inflatables into the crowd. I gotta say, watching a giant inflatable snowman crowd surfing above a moshing crowd was a first for me.
With so many details, and so much fun to be had, a Green Jellÿ show must be seen in person to fully understand the master-mind behind it. Different nights have different outcomes, and this is a night I will not soon forget – maybe ever.
One thing is for sure, if you don’t get a chance to be involved while at a GJ Punk Rock Puppet Show, you didn’t try. You are just as lame as the hipster at the back of room tonight… as Bill stated to him “This is why you don’t get laid at shows“. The crowd is as much of the show as the band, and that’s what set tonight’s show apart from all others.