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The Pleasure Elite
November 17, 2007 – El Corazon – Seattle, WA
by Sara Huguenard
01.06.08

For anyone who still has a vague recollection of Seattle’s music scene when all eyes of the music industry were turned to the Northwest, you will no doubt have been exposed to the Pleasure Elite in one form or another. Possibly one of the most influential industrial/experimental groups to have ever come out of the Northwest, these guys had it all: a 21-and-over stage show that was designed to engage the ears, mind… and the libidos of all who came to see. Their album
Bad Ju Ju was an epic of greatness for the genre for those of us who were lucky enough to know of them.

Fast forward 15 years and little has changed. No words can describe the rush I felt from once again witnessing the on-stage debauchery that once personified and to this day is still… as exposed on that night of November 17, 2007… the epitome of the Pleasure Elite. 

Too bad they weren’t planning to stick around…

“Welcome” proclaimed the Reverend (V. Blast), taking the stage in all of his original grass-skirted-larger-than-lifeness, with his eternal side man, guitarist Luvleggs “to our last show… until our next last show”. 

Tonight there would be more than enough vinyl, stiletto and pleather to go around.

And with the opening chords the floor shook and rumbled as a room full of thirty-somethings were transported back to their youth.

And re-live we did--as a smoking-hot police chick hauled away a maliciously evil singer/clown (whose make-up was obviously conjured to re-invoke any childhood nightmare a now adult audience member may have had) and then strutted back on stage to take down not only a couple of audience members (while indulging in a little girl-on-girl action) but as well a malevolent electrical-taped-bikini-shorts-and-stockings clad midget who alternated between gyrating thru the forest of legs parading across the stage and taking extraordinary delight in taunting the stage-front audience. 

It was all there--in music as well as performance--bondage and fetish took center stage while classics like “Smoking in Bed,” “Aunt Flow,” “Mediafeed,” “Blunderhead” and “Jokes on You” provided the soundtrack. The boys--classically decked in heavy face/body paint, frilly skirts and tights, or in what has come to be the norm for lead guitarist Elvis Christ, pretty much nothing at all--were at their freakish best, having the times of their lives while cranking out a pristine bitch-nasty thump (I later found out the show was being recorded for a live album). Even the new music was surprisingly good, which, given the few between years when they were kind of on-again, off-again and their music in turn seemed somewhat sufferably forced, left me with absolutely not one single thing to denounce in my critique of this show. It was, quite simply, a spectacle beyond spectacle, absolutely the best performance of the Pleasure Elite that I had ever seen (or at least that I could recall!)

Even without the Evil Twins…

The evening *climaxed* with Oedipal anthem “Twist on This,” and of course, an a capella version of the ode to boyhood fantasy about finding early love in the pages of the girly magazines by the Rev (what was the name of that song, anyway??), and then it was over.

And as the house lights came up, I just stood there for a moment, kind of in a daze, a bit nostalgic, a little sad, and yet feeling completely overwhelmed and fulfilled at the same time. What a great fucking show…

Thanks guys, for all of the good times--and for a night full of memories. Very much looking forward to the next last time!

More on the Pleasure Elite:
www.thepleasureelite.net / www.myspace.com/thepleasureelite.