Concert Reviews: April 1993
Season To Risk
February 18 – Bar and Grill
From Salt Lake, Green Street opened this show. I can’t say I really enjoyed their set. The music is ok and so are the vocals, but the lyrics seemed repetitive and meaningless.
Voodoo Gearshift lifted my spirits to a new low. The threesome is based in Seattle, but their music isn’t what you’d expect from the town. There are a lot of changes on almost every song but they’re so fucking tight you can hardly call them chaotic. I give ‘em 3 3/4 stars.
I’d seen Season To Risk about six months earlier with Prong. They laid the Prongers to waste. Needless to say, I was excited to see them again.
I got all dressed up, put on my dancing shoes and headed down for an evening at the bar. If you have never heard anything about these boyz, they use a C.B. for vocals about half the time. The fast, ferocious music is enough to put anyone in a frenzy of excitement. I definitely put them in the heavy category. 4 1/2 stars.
March 6 – Bar and Grill
March 6,1993 may have marked a turning point for Stretch Armstrong as that Utah County based band displayed the kind of talent that has made them Utah’s best ska band.
Opening for frequent visitors Skankin’ Pickle, Stretch played a blistering set that included covers of Operation Ivy‘s “Unity” and old standard Charlie Brown.
In their 45-minute plus playing time, the band played original songs like “Big Hair” (a song about and dedicated to that popular hairstyle seen mostly in Provo and West Valley), “Pain,” and “Mr. Walker” and showcased the frenzied lead vocals of Scottie Van Wagenen. Scottie poured his heart and soul into a powerful performance, but he was matched by his bandmates. Especially notable were saxophonist Rachelle Jessee and guitarist Mike South
The rousing playlist had the packed house skanking and dancing up a storm, so hopefully promoters of ska shows will remember Stretch when an opening act is called for.
And Skankin’ Pickle?. . . Well, as usual, Utah’s favorite visiting ska band excelled in what singer Bruce Parks declared was the last non “all ages show on their itinerary.
Unfortunately, one of the best numbers of their latest album, “Silly Willy” and “Ice Cube, Korea Wants a Word With You”, were neglected, but Pickle made up for it by covering Green Day‘s “Green Day” and throwing in the new “I Want My foreskin Back”.
It’s easy to take the Pickle for granted with their incredible performances, so it’s worth pointing out that guitarist Lynette Knackstedt was exceptional as was bassist/vocalist Mike Mattingly. The only lowlight to the night was the overplayed and annoying pseudo punk.
That said, the two hour show was (yet again) a great example of the power of ska. I even attended the “all ages” show, and the break from cigarette smoke and belligerent drunks was refreshing.
March 10 – DV8
I have waited a long time to see Consolidated live, but now I wish I would have stayed home and eaten meat or something. I have enjoyed my quite extensive CD collection of theirs and I can agree completely with about 99% of what they say. They are very outspoken about almost any kind of oppression and discrimination. I have immense respect for what they are doing with their music.
However, when I saw them live I found them quite hypocritical. This is probably my own fault for somewhat putting them on a pedestal. It seems their mission on this tour was to lump all white males together and discriminate them out of everything. I myself am a white male and I was not oppressing women in the pit. They play heavy fast music and there were about a half dozen guys (all under the age of 18) slammin’ around.
Then after the show, they pass a microphone around the floor and let people comment and for some crazy reason that is all they could talk about. I found their anti-Christian and anti-LDS opinions offensive too, even though I don’t consider myself either. It was narrow minded and one sided as was the rest of their stage presence. Buy two copies of each of their albums and give on to a friend but stay home if they come back.
To be honest, New Fast Automatic DaffodilsS (New F.A.D.) didn’t even leave me with an opinion either way, so I used this time to get loaded. The Goats, however, totally kicked it up with their Beastie Boys style of hip-hop. Watch for them and pick up a copy of their 25-song album Tricks Of The Shade.
March 18 – Grantsville
Hooray for local hardcore bands who schedule shows out in the middle of nowhere, Utah, for only in places like Grantsville, Logan, Pleasant Grove, Blanding, etc., can one get that sense of new meets old, that corruption on the frontier of breeder-ville feeling that is obviously heading for extinction in the not-too-distant future. No garish, comfortable city lights, only an occasional street lamp to pierce the blanket of night, a large metal building, and a bunch of rural punk rocking dudes and dudettes finding out what’s up. I LOVE IT.
Stone Monkey, a band apparently actually from Grantsville, opened up with some thrashing about on the drums by their thick-set, long red haired, troll-like drummer, who was soon joined by a guitarist, a bassist, and a definite princess of babe-alonia singer in hat and glasses. The drummer had a lot of energy, but the rest of the band seemed rather too bored, and a little uninspired. The riffs were old and monotonous at times, and the singer, though pleasant to look at (what you could see through the hat and glasses), was a bit too pleasant to listen to for my taste, weaving almost Smiths-like euphonious melodies in a clear, flute-like mice over the relentless pounding of the rest of the band. But the band shows promise, and we all hope they’ll keep up the good work. Time will lead you aright.
Decomposers cheesed-out with the costumes again, Aaron tonight sporting the plush Viking horns, remarking before the show that ‘these are virgin eyes’ referring to the assembled Grants villains. Uncertain what to make of this much-touted local hardcore (?)band, the crowd vacillated be
tween slamming and yelling insults at the West Valley boys, but all-in-all I would say this was a successful first contact. They played a number of numbers I’d never heard before, including an almost country-western style thing about (from what I could make out) pork and beans, and one I’ve heard a few times now that features a riff with phase-shifter from hell attached that always makes me feel like I’m drowning in a monstrous ocean swell. They finished out the set with a hearty round of “Big Hairy Balls” which left the crowd wondering. “And they shall wonder and perish.”
Waterfront, whose cassette release party this was (also available: Waterfront T-shirts, stickers, boxer shorts) I have found rather dull in the past. The singer’s nasal drone and self-satisfied smirk usually leave me snoozing, but tonight I didn’t really notice because I was too mesmerized by the drummer. I know this is the same drummer they’ve had every time I’ve seen them, but I guess it was a date who drew back and my attention to him for the first time. I moved around back and found myself mesmerized by the intricate patterns he spun between which the bass player and guitarist inserted their comparatively understated parts. He gets this faraway look in his eye, the sign of deep absorption in the part, and you know he’s out there. The bass player also has this look of I-know-what-I’m-doing-and-you-don’t that sort of makes me say, “Huh, okay, do it to me.” Altogether a very satisfying evening. If you missed it, you missed it. Why miss it again?
March 16– Club Starrz
What a night, what a fuckin’ evening. l prepared early for the festivities both mentally and physically, then set out in the car for Club Starrz for a night of madness.
Monster Magnet hit the stage as I walked through the doors. Wow! These fellows are so intense. Slow and bippy music with Satan to back them up. They played all my favorites, “Snake Dance,” “Nod Scene,” and a new favorite I don’t know the name of. That was the first time I’d ever heard it. I don’t think Sabbath would have been a cooler opener for what was to come next.
Fuckin’ fireworks and lasers. Gosh, White Zombie was so cool. You couldn’t imagine how insane it was. It was bad ass. Blaring guitar, pounding drums, scratchy vocals and the cutest damn bassist. God couldn’t make a cooler band.
Tearing their way across an hour and a half set, they ended with even more fireworks and a “Helter Skelter” cover. Wow!
If you missed this show you might as well rip a vital organ out of your body.
Suspension of Disbelief
March 3 – Club Starrz
The new reality. That’s what I had heard this called before I actually knew the name. It does actually have three members from the old band, but Suspension of Disbelief rocks harder. They are really bass heavy but not real Salt Lake style. Definitely cool. Their set was short, but they still did a great job for being but a few months old.
I have waited ages to see and hear Coffin Break They missed their last time in Salt Lake and came this time to a rather meager crowd. But they definitely didn’t let my hopes down.
They played a ton of stuff off the new album Thirteen, and a lot of older stuff. This band definitely likes to play their music and people like to watch them. My favorites for the eve were: “For Beth,” “Our World Now”, and “Hole In The Sky”, a Black Sabbath cover.
I don’t understand where all the Pearl Jam T-shirt wearing, artsy fartsy people were. This was one of the first bands from Seattle, but I would like to thank Stanz for holding this show.
Sick of It All
February 27 – Club Starzz
I’m sure you can all imagine droves of young kids coming out to see a couple of New York’s hardcore bands. I was kind of expecting blood and stuff.
Fear Factory opened. I liked these kitties. They are that grindcore kind of thing; half-bark half-singing. That crowd wasn’t into them, but I liked them.
I have heard a few good things about Biohazard. They were fun to watch jump around but other than that they weren’t that cool
From the first song to the last, Sick of It AllL had the whole floor moving. It was really cool. Of course they played all the favorites. There was really no high point except to watch the kids totally freak out. I had fun.
March 18 – Club Starrz
Ah, Club Starzz. Who can resist the lure of the disco ball, the disco lights, and the oh-so-friendly “security” guards, not to mention the video games in the back?
Phorhead is a three piece band from somewhere around here. I guess. They’re technically impressive, though they could be a little tighter in spots. But even then, there’s something missing from the show. They play intelligent hardcore, but it is leaden. I don’t know if they should lighten up, or really dig down and get in touch with the deep psychoses, but they need something, some zaniness, or some intensity, or something, I don’t know. It was cool—cool enough to sleep to. You knew they were hating it when the singer/bassist whined, “WiII someone please dance?” Ahem … make me, dude.
Decomposers donned new outfits for this one. Gone were the fluffy viking horns, and most notably in their place was Kelly Mounteer wearing (I kid you not) a gold lame minidress with puffy sleeves, a double wraparound belt, the front open down to his navel, and the word “TITS” scrawled in black across his lovely, blonde thorax. Tits and gold lame, now that’s entertainment. What more could anyone ask for from a band? Well, maybe Aaron Anderson shrieking “FUCK YOU” and “BULLSHIT” in your face. I’m not going to say this got obnoxious, because to me, these guys can do no wrong, but someone did say it. Probably a lot of people did.
The thing is, the crowd wanted to slam, and one of the things that makes Decomposers so unique is that when people slam to them, it’s not some ass-kickin’ guitar riff that’s supplying the energy, it’s Aaron screaming his guts out about some mundane, yet maddening nonsequitur, some sick condition about reality that if attended to closely could, and apparently often does, lead people to turn reality off, or warp it, or change it, leading to fragmentation and breakdown of permutations of you know, whatever this is we’re calling reality. Excuse my digression. This band often makes me want to go home and crawl under my covers because that’s a place I know, rather like too many hits of some kind of one hitter, if you know what I mean. And that is why I dig them so much.
Mike (Novagenus) joined Aaron on vocals for the last song, remarking once again, as he did at the Salt Flats Compilation disc release party at DV8, that he felt underdressed, and they growled and spazzed their way through some lyrics I’m sure we all understood on some deep-buried level of consciousness. As the singer for Gas Huffer said at the close of their set, “Thanks to the ever-fab Decomposers.”
Gas Huffer is good time rock and roll with a vaguely ska-ish flavor from, I believe, somewhere in the pacific Northwest. Their singer is a mondo-monkey-man Robert DeNiro look alike with pork-chop sideburns from hell. He shook, and crept, and bounced around the stage, breathing life into a rather long set of soundalike songs. At one point, the guitar player remarked in a hilariously blase voice, “Oh, I fed all aflame,” and later the singer said something about exploding, a promise I noticed he failed to keep. They finished the set by dutifully thanking everyone involved, and launching into what sounded like a remix of the song before.
We had a good time, and if you didn’t, it’s nobody’s fault but your own.
March 26 – Bar and Grill
Over the past few years, Bar & Grill has been bringing in a lot of the dd punk bands and it is cool to see the bands play, but I got to say, the crowds that come see these shows can be real fucked up. This show was like a bad episode of Thirty Something. “Frat Boy Hell.”
One Eye, as always, delivered a great set. They are one of the few local bands who always has the crowd screaming for more even with an act like Agent Orange up next. They really are a great band with a great laid back approach in their live set. They have taken elements from a lot of today’s hip alternative music, which is both good and bad, but I will say this.. . if these guys stick it out as a band (there are no indications they won’t) they could easily get out of this town; they are great.
Agent Orange should have been called “One Agent And An Orange” (thanks Joe) but original line-up or not didn’t matter; they played a great line up of old and new and had one hell of a time doing it. No sound check and technical difficulties didn’t even stop these guys from making sure the crowd had a great time. Great show all-in-all; it’s the first show in years I stayed through to the end for.
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Concerts: March 1993
Concert Reviews: January 1993
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