“I’d never heard of Patriarchy, but they’re…awesome.” These are the words I heard again and again last Friday night at the Sinkhole. Some might say the same thing about the Sinkhole itself—a one-room bar and concert venue on South Broadway. The show was an intimate experience—from my spot by the merch table, I was still within spitting distance of the performers. I rubbed elbows with many local goths, who happily gave me hot takes on the night’s lineup.
The show began with a DJ set by “DJ Sex Nintendo.” Sex Nintendo spun some classic EBM and synthpop from artists like Nitzer Ebb, D.A.F. and Fad Gadget; he also tossed in some tracks from Roisin Murphy and other contemporary dance artists. It got the crowd moving and got us fired up for Street Fever, who took the stage wearing a mirrorball mask and flailing a metal chain. Electronic music doesn’t always make for an engaging live show, but Street Fever’s energetic dancing nicely complemented his dark, gritty industrial techno.
At last, Patriarchy took the stage. In case the band’s violent and hypersexual lyrics don’t make it clear, the name is ironic. It’s hard to imagine the frontwoman Actually Huizenga being subjugated by anyone. Patriarchy played cuts from their debut, Asking for It, and their newest release, The Unself. Actually’s ethereal, darkwave-influenced vocal style was put in sharp relief by the EBM-style synths, noisy guitar, and aggressive drumming provided by her bandmates (aptly nicknamed “The Guitarist” and “The Drummer”).
After the show, Patriarchy got busy moving units—vinyl, custom-made jewelry, and underwear with the band’s logo. I chatted with Actually and “The Guitarist” briefly and thanked them for a great show. We talked about other industrial acts they’ve played with, like L.A. locals Youth Code and East Coasters Boy Harsher. As for future plans, Actually is producing her own videos and planning more tours. The band wants to share their darkly erotic vision with the world—and it’s a sight to behold.
Notes about the venue: At only $15 each, the tickets were a steal. The Sinkhole is cash-only, but there’s an ATM next to the bar. The staff are friendly, and they’re clearly big fans of the music. This place is a must-see for underground music fans in St. Louis. | Rob Von Nordheim