Dressed like that old sketch of the Unabomber (hood up, big shades), Suicide singer Alan Vega — now 70 years old — took the stage at Greenpoint’s Club Europa last night to dole out Suicide songs new and old, each frayed with harsh electro-crackle. While Vega’s muttered, pillowy talk had the tunes spiraling off into grimy trance states, Martin Rev stood at his side, finding new ways to molest a keyboard with his fists and elbows. A twitchy rendition of “Ghost Rider” offered a quick jolt; the still-creepy “I Surrender” felt like a nightmarish Roy Orbison ballad.
A.R.E. Weapons warmed up. They’re a band that not only emulates Suicide’s penchant for sleeveless T-shirts, but its longevity, too. Years have passed since the salad days of electroclash, when the Weapons were the talk of the town, so props to them for evolving out of the miasma of hipster backlash. Last night, the band convulsed its way through electro-rockabilly jams about riding public transit and shaking down deadbeats for money — recession-proof themes. Before taking the stage, band members wandered around the club sporting leather jackets adorned with self-promoting insignia. One jacket read “A.R.E. Weapons Forever.” Will we still love them when they’re 74?