ChameleonsVox return at The Regent

Manchester post-punkers perform their debut — start to finish.


Photo courtesy of Christian Davis

Christian Davis, Writer

In many ways, my father and I are trapped in this unbreakable cycle. I blow my paychecks on vinyl just like he did in the mid-’80s. The night before he took his SAT, he was found knee deep in a Dead Kennedy’s mosh pit, and I often find myself exhausted in class from shows the night before. We have collectively spent more hours organizing our expansive iTunes libraries than most people have probably spent listening to music. Every now and then, these cycles line up, and my Dad and I find ourselves in the same spaces, like two nights ago at The Regent theater to see the return of ChameleonsVox.

A Masterpiece of Post-Punk

Led by founding member Mark Burgess, the band is touring in support of their debut record “Script of the Bridge.” Released in 1983, the record was seen as a masterpiece of post-punk, and it holds up incredibly well live. Their main setlist on this tour consists of “Script of the Bridge” played front to back in its entirety, and the fact the show engaged the audience like it did is a testament to its power after 32 years.

A Timeless Sound

This, combined with the last-minute venue change to The Regent in Downtown Los Angeles due to audience demand, shows just how important this genre of music is still. The age differences for ‘80s shows are always so telling of the timelessness of the decade. My friend’s seventeen year old brother was on my left side, and my dad was on my right, who was into The Chameleons when they were still releasing records. It is worth noting that ChameleonsVox is the current touring moniker for The Chameleons, as the only original member is lead vocalist and bassist Mark Burgess. Regardless, the band came out for an encore that began with “Swamp Thing,” my personal favorite in their catalogue and a song I have wanted to see live since I was a little kid. Granted, I think my dad has waited a little longer.

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