Holy fucking shit!
I suppose this story really begins a couple years back. A young, starry eyed Ben Alton was looking to find himself a nice leather trench coat and some combat boots to go stomping around in over at Neo and some upcoming concerts. Anyhow, I went looking over at The Alley but found mostly crappy overpriced merchandise that looked like it would fall apart if I looked at it too hard. So Susan volunteered a different place that she’d passed driving to work. It was called Mephisto, and supposedly a “leather store.” So we decided to give it a shot since it wasn’t too far away from us. Upon entering the store I immediately knew what I’d walked into. I saw my combat boots (an excellent pair by the way) next to an array of ass-less chaps, ball gags, whips, and the like.
The woman who ran the shop was very helpful. She had me pretty much pegged right away, figuring I was a dude who was looking for some gear to go stomping around at a show and did her best to make us comfortable. She helped me pick a great Australian duster that I ultimately opted for instead of a leather coat. However, I left my wallet at home so had to drive back to get it while Susan stayed to hold my jacket while I was gone. She talked with the lady for a bit and found that they make all their own leather (good stuff too) and have a bondage troupe that performs around Chicago. I came back with my wallet, and paid for my boots and coat next to a multi-colored display of cock rings. Anyhow, we’ve recommended Mephisto to a few people looking for leather as the quality is good and the staff is great, but we hadn’t been back since and I’d almost forgotten about the place until recently.
Fast forward to 2009. I’ve been dying to get Fabrice to the Doubledoor while he’s still in Chicago as it remains one of my all time favorite venues. Unfortunately a whole lot of crap seemed to be playing between now and when he went home. Last minute though, we see a supposed “Industrial/Electronica/Black Metal” act called Defcon is going to be playing, so Fabrice suggested we go. Now a quick note about Defcon, listening to their Myspace I was not really that impressed aside from the first song. However, they really brought it to the Doubledoor, and sounded great.
Nothing really prepared me for the show by SS-TripleX. As I had originally understood it, they were a female bondage fashion group, and I what I saw at first fit with my expectations. They got on stage and modeled an array of bondage/industrial outfits including full leather suits and gas masks. However, after they had gone on and done the whole catwalk deal, things got really different. They start this campy silent skit to music, with two girls in latex dresses sitting on stools at a table , having a picnic and drinking champagne while acting sickly sweet to each other. After being playful for a little while, three other girls come on in leather wearing gas masks and holding a sign for the troupe behind the skit. The music starts getting dark and heavy. The picnic girls keep doing their scene ignorant of the post-apocalyptic scene behind them until apocalypse leather girl #2 comes over and pretends to administer ether to both picnic girls to knock them out. She then fixes some drink, wakes each of the picnic girls up and has them drink it.
Then it really gets dark. The music changes to a new heavy beat, and the apocalypse leather girls strip the top off the one picnic girl at the table, then face her naked back toward the audience while she leans on the table. Two of the leather girls move back and forth in a mechanized fashion to this medical tray retrieving needles, then piercing skin on either side of the topless girl’s spine all the way down her back. After a moment when it’s all complete, they repeat the process removing each needle. A little blood starts coming from the piercings which each apocalypse girl collects in a champagne glass and drinks. The picnic girl who was pierced then takes the fake gun from one of the leather girls and shoots one of the girls in the head, then does the same to the other girl. She gives the gun to the third leather girl to shoot herself in the head, then sits down to finish her picnic.
Whoa. The whole show was mesmerizing in a disturbing way, as I’d never seen a performance like it before. The DJ was awesome too, adding some real dark industrial sounds to the performance. Anyhow they had another skit later in the evening which was also shocking and weird but I’d recommend checking it out rather than having me describe it. Anyhow, I thought I recognized the lady who was managing the girls and sure enough she was the lady from Mephisto who sold me my boots and coat. She told me the name has changed now to Leather 6410, but they’re still doing their thing over there, so if you need some combat boots or a pair of ass-less chaps, give them a try.