The Lords of the New Church are sort of an aging punk supergroup with ex-members of Sham 69, the Damned and the Dead Boys. Their show at the Bayou was less a punk revival than an attempt to recast psychedelia and heavy metal on modern hardcore terms. Brian James' sonic guitar excursions, cliche'd as they were, would have been more at home at the Fillmore circa 1968 than CBGB's circa 1978.
On songs like the acid classic "Question of Temperature," the band tried to recapture the mind-bending atmosphere of another era, but lacked the spirit or innocence. Lead singer Stiv Bators gave an energetic performance spotted with comic cynicism, but you got the feeling he knew that the joke was on him and his lifeless but loud band.
The opening act, a punk quintet from Richmond called Beex, was inept enough to stun the audience into virtual silence. Cranking hard rock and punk riffs through a musical grinder, the band ended up with nondescript sludge. With no dynamics, no theatrics or even physical thrashing about, Beex offered a weary epitaph for the punk legacy. Lead singer Chris Gibson sang in a nihilistic monotone and appeared as bored with her songs as the audience was.