Below is from my journal from 2001, after I saw the Bad Brains totally disappoint a massive crowd at the Showplace Theater in Buffalo, NY. Although I has seen Human Rights 10 years prior and the Brain's twice, this was the only time I saw them with HR on vocals. I saw them at CBGB's a few years later with JJ Bloodclot from the Cro-Mags singing and that was pretty good. The show mentioned below, was not.
"Herod sounded like mush
Three Below sounded like mush wearing leather pants.
The sound at the Showplace is mush...
But the Bad Brains somehow managed to change that... they sounded phenomenal and every note and musical delivery was flawless... but wait something's fishy here...
HR the once proud frontman of the bad brains has taken a trip to the stars- where his body remains on earth and his mind is somewhere else in the universe. To understand what I am talking about check out a few x men comics when professor x's brain takes a vacation.
HR lives in his own little world. in this world, the audience is laughing with him and his love for Jah. Unfortunately, this is NOT the case. They’re laughing AT him ... his ridiculous banter and wacked out creepy guy at the bus station mannerisms speak more for the thousands of mentally ill homeless than for the purveyors of hardcore punk. it's amazing how disconnected he was. What is also amazing is that the band was completely raging around him, almost equally disconnected; disconnected in the sense that they didn't seem to pay any mind what so ever to their "frontman".
the band as a whole truly mimicked hr's mental illness. it was like the body functioned normally ( Dr. Know, Earl Hudson and Daryl Jennifer) but the mind controlling it (HR) was leading this visage towards bizarre madness and utter destruction.
The quotable HR:
"We are not earth wind and fire"
"Don't you ever forget my name"
"Jesus Christ was not god, he was the son of god"
"I like your knockers"
He also said "I love you all" more than Ozzy does on the Randy Rhoades tribute album.
HR came across as the crazy uncle who shows up at the family reunion gropes all your female cousins, eats your food, talks about the bible and tells dick and fart jokes until he asks you to give him a ride home...
I stood in front of Dr. Know the entire time, basking in his masterful playing...
Wow... I can't believe the contrast from the first two times I saw the Bad Brains. Granted they had Chuck Mosley singing the first time and Joseph I singing the second but they stilled ruled and it wasn't that the band didn't rage... they did... it was just that before the singer's voice may not have been dead on with HR's BUT they went off... I think this is the first time I've ever seen a band where the band goes off and the singer just doesn't care... strange."