Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fat, Forty and F'ed Up

I did something last night that I haven't done in over twenty years: I went to an all-ages hardcore show. In my own little town, no less. To briefly summarize the last two decades of my life: I got a real job, got married, bred, and bought a house in the burbs. So the occasional trip downtown to see a live band has become less and less frequent, and the anticipation is tinged with more and more middle-aged suburban anxiety. "Where do I park? I hope nobody messes with my car. And I hope those goddamn kids don't start slam-dancing."

I was intrigued to learn that an 18 year old recently started booking hardcore shows in a strip mall just five miles from my house. The fact that the shows start before dusk and are over by midnight was even more appealing to an old fart like me. So when I found out that Canadian hardcore band Fucked Up was playing their first show ever in the Atlanta area, I had to check it out.

The openers included Verse (who are from Providence RI) and Down to Nothing (who are from Richmond VA). Both bands play a precise, metallic style of hardcore, with lots of sudden stops and tempo changes. By contrast, Fucked Up played a more "traditional" punk style (steady tempos, major chords, feedback and pick slides). Their brief live set was tight and exciting, but demonstrated none of the experimentation in their recent records. After the show I heard someone in the parking lot say, "With a name like Fucked Up, I expected them to sound more fucked up."

There were well over two hundred kids packed into an otherwise empty storefront, and many of them were shouting along to the three bands' songs. I saw kids wearing shirts for bands that probably broke up before they were born. And I was encouraged to see them buying vinyl at the merch tables (along with the CD's and t-shirts). There was slamming, skanking, and stage diving, just like I remember from the 80's. This old man had a smile on his face, an "X" on the back of his hand, and a familiar ringing in his ears as he drove the few miles home last night.


At 7/18/2007 4:00 PM , Blogger Happy In Bag said...


At 7/19/2007 1:53 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Forgot to mention, you can hear Fucked Up here: http://derangedrecords.com/media.php

At 7/22/2007 12:07 AM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

I know what you mean. I am taking my 13 year old daughter to the Warped Tour show when it comes by my town. Most of my Punk t-shirts are older than the kids who are going to be there! Aside from Bad Religion, I'm probably old enough to be everyone other band's father!
But I am glad that punk is still around (even in it's present whiny emo Hot Topic mode).

At 7/22/2007 9:47 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

I hear you, Nazz. The older of my two sons is almost twelve, and I suspect I'll soon be buying tickets to take him to see My Chemical Romance, the All American Rejects, or some other band with too many words in their name.

At 7/23/2007 11:08 AM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

I'm reminded of the time when Homer Simpson told the Smashing Pumpkins, "My kids think you're the greatest. And thanks to your gloomy music, they've finally stopped dreaming of a future I can't possibly provide."


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