The Unseen (courtesy of myspace.com/theunseen)
This show was quite the trip down punk rock memory lane. Although it was over before midnight and half the crowd wasn’t even old enough to drive, it was a pretty decent way to waste a Wednesday night.
After missing the first two bands (who knew punk shows actually started on time nowadays?), I arrived just as The Unseen were setting up. There was barely room to move in Club Sound. Everyone was crammed together like cattle from the front door to the entrance of the bar. The crowd exploded as soon as The Unseen started to play. Everyone seemed to be dancing around in the multiple pits that had formed; the kid with the shitty mohawk that had already fallen down, the jackass desperately trying to protect his girlfriend from the crowd and even a few goth kids. The Unseen’s set was surprisingly short, but they managed to play a good mixture of old and new songs.
The Casualties were up next. I was shocked that they weren’t headlining but pleased about it, too. I can only handle so much “we’re punk, drunk as fuck and want a 40 oz.” I must admit that I’ve never really liked the Casualties but they’re able to keep their fans entertained. I’m still not quite sure why the fans continued to cheer after being spit on multiple times by Jorge, who seems to have aged a whole lot since the last time they came to town. Their cover of The Ramones' “Blitzkrieg Bop” was the highlight of the set, but their new song about the victims of Hurricane Katrina wasn’t bad either. After their final song, someone in the crowd yelled for some more, but no one else seemed to be feeling it thus the encore failed. I can’t say I was all that disappointed.
By the time Anti-Flag took the stage, the air in Club Sound was stagnant with the smell of booze and sweat. The majority of the kids had huge holes ripped in their shirts or other battle wounds from the pit. Anti-Flag started off with “Die for your Government” and got everyone in the crowd chanting along. The rest of their set included some newer songs, some jokes about how they needed 40s delivered to the stage and endless preaching to the crowd about how the government is fucked up and it is up to the punks to save the state of the world.
What the crowd is doing is usually what makes or breaks a show. If the crowd isn’t into the band, the band doesn’t put on as good of a show regardless of who they are. In this case, the crowd enhanced the band's performance quite a bit. I was watching the kids in he pit, the crowd surfers that almost bashed their heads into that damned pole in the middle of the room and the stage divers just as much as the bands on stage. I just wish that everyone would get that excited and show that much support for all the smaller punk shows around town, not just get that pumped up when The Casualties roll into town.