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  • Writer's pictureMatt Levin

The Jesus Lizard @ The WOW Hall

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

In November of 1992 I was a film student in Eugene, Oregon, and had recently acquired fancy a new video camera. It was pretty hi-tech at the time, before everyone had a camcorder on their phones...My friend Allison worked at the historic venue, The W.O.W Hall, (a.k.a. Community Center for the Performing Arts) It was originally called The Woodmen of the World (W.O.W.) lodge, hence the name. In 1975 The W.O.W Hall kicked off a host to live music, and in 1996 it was officially designated a historic landmark by the National Register of Historic Places.  "No building has stronger connections to Eugene’s yeasty culture," noted the Register-Guard.

Allison would tell me about all of the cool shows happening, and hooked me up with the bands to let me film, so I pretty much lived there during my Eugene days. It was a very cozy little room that was the scene of some mind-blowing shows over the years from Captain Beefheart, FEAR, The Flaming Lips, Fugazi, Swervedriver, and countless others. There was a certain magic that happened at "The Hall" It was hard to describe, maybe it was the rickety wood floor, or the intimate space that made the sound crash down on you, but bands seemed to muster up some extra energy and juice that they put into their performances there

On the night of Nov 9th, 1992, The W.O.W. Hall welcomed the mighty, The Jesus Lizard, to play. David Yow was known for his wild, unhinged, live performances, and he did not disappoint. These guys really cooked live bassist, David Wm. Sims, guitarist, Duane Denison, and Mac McNeilly on the drum kit, really were a powerful band. Their brand of noise-rock really blew the roof off the tiny venue.

I've been going through my Eugene archives recently, trying to digitize shows and events I filmed, little by little. I literally have hundreds of hours of footage...It's a daunting task, but at least I got this gig out, it's a stone-cold classic!

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