Words & Photos by Alan Snodgrass

Fifteen years after the release of their last album, Coral Fang, The Distillers are back. No fanfare, just a tease on social media and the next thing you know a trickle of tour dates on the calendar including a Friday night at Oakland, California’s Fox Theater.  If you weren’t paying attention, you could have easily missed it.

Opener Starcrawler took the stage as the crowd trickled in and when on to highlight why it’s (almost) always a good idea to get to shows early. Waif-thin  Arrow de Wilde, decked out in little more than a hospital gown, fully embraced a junkie persona and proceeded to wow the room with a a 30 minute set that ended with the drop of a mic as the rest of the band kept pounding on, Raw, loud and no doubt memorable for the gathering Distillers fans.

By the time the Distillers set rolled around, the Fox was packed and when the band finally took the stage and the distinctive strumming of “Drain the Blood” ushered in that distinctive Brody Dalle rasp, the  beer flew and the general admission floor spun into chaos as the whole theater gleefully sang along to “all my friends are murderers.”  It had obviously been awhile.

With the Coral Fang lineup back together on stage, the setlist not surprisingly drew heavily from that album while still managing to hit all of the bases.  The crowd loved every note of it, the floor absolute chaos of the galloping beat of “Seneca Falls” as well as straight-up ripper “Sick of it All.”  While “Dismantle Me” offered a respite from the nuttiness up front, the break was brief.

Don’t let those leopard print mom jeans fool you, this 39 year old mother of three can sure rock the fuck out.  And with a brand new tune (“Man vs. Magnet”) fresh out of the hopper, we can only hope for a new album and more shows.

The Distillers


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