C'MON IN EVERYBODY! AN EARLY MID-LIFE CRISIS FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE!!! A few weeks ago, a buddy and I drove down to Philly to see an honest-to-goodness real life Hardcore show in the year 2007. The line-up couldn't be beat I thought. Canada's Fucked Up, the recently resurrected Philly Hardcore legends YDI and Virginia's Government Warning. As the days grew closer, the shittier my work situation became and my contempt for the adult rat race grew. I counted the hours until we left on this trip and wondered in my head if I would actually clock some kid in the pit while Fucked Up busted out that 'Police' jam. I had a checklist in my noggin of all the new fangeled Hardcore platters I would pick up at the show. Yes, I agree it was sad, but it was helping not clock a client in the mouth, so I stuck with it. One night when I was walking home from work, I thought how much I needed something like Hardcore now more than I ever did when I was a kid. All I had then was an implanted hatred of the norm. Now I have bills, a crap job, an honest fear of everything and no hair. What do I have to go off to in my current situation? Tell me!
The ride down was great. Good jams and kindly fat asses serving fried chicken. After a few beers, we walked down to the hall where the show was going on. 'Y'all think it's Woodstock down here?!?' axed a street urchin to a group of fresh-faced Hardcore kids. Ah, guff from the local color. Perhaps Punk Rock hasn't changed that much... Government Warning was already rollin' when we got in. Within seconds, as corny as it sounds, everything felt real. I'm not saying I had some post-revelatory moment. I'm just saying the energy felt pure. Government Warning were tight shit with a drummer that's a phenomenal spiritual son to Lucky. Kids knew all the words and good dives were done (Feet first...nice touch!) While I was watching them, I flashed back to Flipside videos of Stalag 13 and Adolescents. So far, so good. I'm usually pretty opposed to seeing reunited Punker bands, but I felt the need to see YDI as I found them to be an open-ended case in my life. My brother had their 'A Place In The Sun' 7" and that record really intrigued me. When I finally got to see them as a tot (Opening for Samhain maybe?) there was not a flannel shirt or bald head in sight. Elbow length leopard skin gloves and frizzed out hair is what I got. I just caught on to all this aggro face to face and everybody was going metal or wimping out. I was bummed. Their singer Jackal came to the stage tonight in an old ass Upstarts shirt and leather pants. He said it was nice to be playing in front of some 'young guys' rather than 'old farts in bars'. He seemed happy. I mean, as happy as you can look singing songs like 'I Killed My Family' or 'Mad At The World'. There was certainly nothing offensive about it. They was no pandering or posing. Why should I suspect that in the first place? Is there really anything they should expect to gain? These are the thoughts I wrangled with as I kept gazing at Jackyls' Upstarts shirt and thinking 'If he takes that thing off, I'm grabbin' it and running off to Mexico'. A few old faces were caught up to (If you told me I'd be in a room with the likes of Robby Redcheeks in my 30's, I'd think you're on the pipe) and I went to swill more beer during the wait for Fucked Up. I guess in the interim of guzzling brews and shooting shit, someone let off a fire extinguisher in the hall. The whole crowd was more or less standing outside the hall covering their faces. Again, more proof Punk Rock never changes. Once the hall was cleared, Fucked Up started out with 'Police' and my compadre said 'Shouldn't you be killing someone right now?' But I didn't. C'mon, the idea of a grown man beating the hell out of some kid in a sleeveless Japanese HC shirt sounds funny at first, but in reality it's sadder than sad. So I just stood to the side and pushed back kids that barrelled into me. One guy seemed like he was doing it on purpose, which in my pittin' days, was an extreme no-no. I pushed him by the neck while holding either end with my pointing finger and thumb. It was then some large kid with a shaved head said in my ear 'Yo, you can't be doing that shit!'. I rasied my brow and squinted at the kid. It was then I knew I couldn't go home*. Madonna's 'This Used To My Playground' played in my head and I sulked to the back. Why was I someplace where some kid is telling me what I can't or can do? Why did I push this kid by the neck? Fucked Up played for awhile with numerous technical difficulties which sorta was bringing me down more. But overall, I'd say the evening was a success. Much records were bought and much sweet beautiful drunk talk was made over Black Flag and Judge. But will I go to another HC show again? I'd say 'yes'. The lofts of Brooklyn are filled with bands I've seen over and over again. Even if I've never seen them, I feel I have. Some might say the idea of HC in this time and age is kinda weird. I think so too and that's why I wanna dig into it. The sight of the guitarist of Government Warning in a Chronic Sick shirt was mindblowing to me. This thing has legs and gotten to the point where the kids started dictating the history. It needs further investigation. So excuse me if I misplace that Birds of Delay review somewhere, I'm listening to 86 Mentality.