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Old 12.02.2022, 10:37 PM   #401
Drjohnrock
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Social Punk Invasion tour--Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 18, 2022.

A package tour of veteran California punk bands isn't the type of show this venue usually puts on. But they occasionally go out of their comfort zone, and so they did on this evening.

TOTAL CHAOS: Opened the show. Pretty much standard thrash , but enlivened by a drummer who reminded me of Orpheo McCord (ex-Fall). I've heard worse live thrash, though. I'm glad I got to see them.

THE DICKIES: This band just seems to get better with age. Leonard had his usual array of props and toys (one of which was a squeaky toy that he played some "solos" with). The band was incredibly tight, with real songcraft in addition to the shredding guitars. If you haven't seen this group before, do so if you get the chance.

TSOL: Yes, Virginia, this was the real TSOL led by Jack Grisham and Ron Emory, not the long departed hair band claim jumpers. They far exceeded my expectations: power, stage presence (which I don't usually care about), energy, and Jack can really work a crowd. This is the first time I've seen TSOL. Hopefully it won't be the last.

I didn't stay for Greg Ginn's Black Flag tribute band, which is what taking BF's former back up band, with its surfer hippie poseur singer, and slapping the "Black Flag" label on them amounts to. A hard pass from me.
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Old 09.04.2023, 11:14 AM   #402
Antagon
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Codeine at Chelsea, Vienna yesterday (Sept. 3rd, 2023)


The three guys are still at the top of their game. The location was jam-packed with old and new fans and the cavernous quality of the concert room paired with the warm late Summer temperatures didn't exactly help. Around the time I had bought tickets for two friends of mine and me, there'd only been around 17 left. That's rather rare for a band that doesn't play stadium rock here in Vienna. But that's the sort of situation you get when a band has a cult-following and sporadically slips in and out of a live-hiatus.


People were cheering loudly, calling for an Encore. Immerwahr by contrast spoke with a decidely calm and collected cadence. He had the presence of a kind, elderly man who had seen a lot but wouldn't let that cloud his judgement. He reminisced about the first time they had played in Vienna back in 1991, appealed to taller audience members to look around and make sure those who are not as tall feel comfortable and generally just seemed like the most polite New Yorker you could possibly encounter.


Without missing a beat, the trio played their classics off Frigid Stars, Dessau and The White Birch. The sound was crisp and clear - a pleasant surprise considering the reputation of the venue they played at (I've seen my fair share of sound fuckups there). A little shoutout to the sound technician who had apparently been booked specifically for that particular gig. I talked to a friend of mine who'd heard her work before and was just as ecstatic about it (good sound technicians are hard to come by in these corners).


Their cover of the Joy Division song "Atmosphere" acted as a particular crowd-pleaser. Hot-take, but ever since I heard it, I vastly prefered it over the original - stripped down, less bombast, more room to sink in and really stick with you. Love me some Joy Division, but I never really got that particular track before I heard the Codeine version. It was only then that I learned to appreciate the songwriting behind it. After previously informing the crowd that they were "allowed to go home" after a certain song, the trio returned for their encore or "extra-credits" as Immerwahr put it, busting into three more tracks, ending on "Broken Hearted Wine", capping the night off on an ethereal note.


I enjoyed it a lot. The music and the show that is. I'll pass on the sweaty, jam-packed cavern where people are trying to squeeze into any vacant inch on the floor they may have caught an illusory glance of.
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