Go behind the curtain of Razak Solar System’s ultimate Speak In Tongues performance


Razak Solar System—Cleveland’s brutal prog / synthetic thrash trio—had tried shroomin’ (or, more specifically, I did), were Ashtray bound, and had that not-easy-bein’-Green feelin’ looming large in our future.

What else could our band do to mix things up and cut through the humdrum of the standard concert presentation, circa Y2K?

On one occasion or another in the year 2000 we tried:

  1. Throwing cartons of discard vinyl LP covers at the audience
  2. Playing in the dark and then suddenly turning on a deer-spotting lamp (ie., a REALLY bright light)
  3. Revving a gas-engined leafblower indoors…

Insane, annoying antics. That was the point.

Post-Grunge audiences hungered for shock, you see. But only lard-butted, hard rock laggards trashed their instruments in the year 2000.

Creativity was the name of the game. For this gig on January 14, 2000, we hatched a plan based on our love of classic Pink Floyd crossed with Dada and performance art tactics.

Razak Solar System (Steve Peffer: Vocals, keyboards / Kevin Jaworski: Drums / Sean Carnage: Bass) played entirely behind a curtain while our pal (and Speak In Tongues main person) Danny Noonan moved lights and objects around, climbing up and down a ladder in the process.

We never revealed what happened behind this curtain—until now!

I won’t be falsely modest: our band was pretty hype at this moment in time. We had just recorded some tracks. I think they still hold up.

Listen to the Razak Solar System Phantom Power EP

When we came out, people were in the mood to mosh. Would they mosh to a band they couldn’t see?

Here’s what the audience experienced:

Many thanks to Ryan “Ryedood” Kennedy for the video above.

READ: Capturing the Cleveland scene – An interview with Ryedood

Now, AT LONG LAST, is what was happening behind that damn curtain…

Razak Solar System (Kevin Jaworski, Sean Carnage, Steve Peffer) behind the curtain. Pictured: Steve. Speak In Tongues in Cleveland, circa Y2K. All Polaroids: Danny Noonan.

Sean, Kevin.

Was the reveal worth the 20-year wait? Or is this just a big ol’ womp-womp?

I’d love to know which other bands played on this night. If you have any info / audio / photos / video of the openers, will you please contact me privately via email or on Instagram or Twitter. Thanks!

While we’re at it, can you help me with details about these other SIT photos?

Here’s everything I’ve posted about Speak In Tongues

Check out all the Razak Solar System posts

I was the Easter Bunny for GSMF & the craziest Speak In Tongues show ever

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