Two weekends ago I went to two shows in two nights, which is a feat for my old ass.
First, on Friday night I saw the Circle Jerks. I was rather taken aback by the $20 ticket price, but it’s the Circle Jerks, so whatever. Red Tape and Time Again opened. Red Tape sounded like they might be good on record, but live I couldn’t really get into it live. With a name like Red Tape, I expected a leaner punk sound, not a metallic sound. Time Again, well, they just plain sucked. Cliché’s left and right. Apparantly they are from Hollywood, based on the hundred times the singer mentioned it. They were just really, really bad. But the Circle Jerks were really good. Keith Morris is 49 years old, Greg Hetson is bald, and they still kick out the jams better than most punk bands half their age. Some of the banter ran a little long, but Keith admitted he needed a chance to catch his breath. I hear ya, Keith.
Saturday night was the Accused at Balazo 18 in San Francisco. All around great show. The tiny place was filled with dirty “punx”. Normally, that’s a bad thing. But for some reason, in SF I don’t question their authenticity like I normally would. Maybe it’s because I’m quite sure that 75% of the audience were members of other Bay Area bands. The opening band was Municipal Waste, who simply crushed. They play an old school crossover thrash/hardcore style of punk. Stage diving with a boogie board and using said boogie board as a “shield of death” were new some new twists. Anyways, they are HIGHLY recommended. The Accused, of course, were fan-fucking-tastic. As soon as they started, things just went off. A couch was flying. Couch cushions were flying. More boogie board action. Just an insane show. They just released a new album. I was prepared to be disappointed, but it rips. You can pick it up at splatterrock.com.
I guess the lesson to be learned from Punk Rock Weekend is that bands stand the test of time and retain a fan base for a reason. The quality of the songs is obviously important, but so is the quality of the live show. This is why I will see the Circle Jerks when Keith is 70, but I will avoid Time Again at all costs.
Side note: Between sets at the Accused show, guess what was being played? Yep, Time Again. What the fuck?