Concert Review: June 1992

Concert Reviews: June 1992


Chuckles at Bar and Grill?

The Speedway‘s gone (old news), the Pompadour’s gone (not so old news) and the bitching begins. “There’s no shows.” “There’s no place to hang out.” “My band has no place to play.” “Boo, hoo,hoo, sob, sob, sob,” yeah, you know what I mean. You’ve heard it (or said it) too. It’s ironic how people treat venues so poorly and then can’t whine enough when they’re shut down, because of money (or lack of), or violence and vandalism.

Well I hope this is over ’cause new doors have opened to embrace our weary little scene. Yes, the Bar & Grill has been hoppin’. Yes, a dark little bar with a dance floor and stage at the back. I would have never guessed shows could be so fun there, but they are. Every Thursday night bands I’m sure most SLUG readers could enjoy rock on that little stage in a big way. And most of these shows are only $5—killer!

Gas Huffer, Concert Reviews: June 1992The first show I saw was Decomposers, Supersuckers and Gas HufferThe Decomposers kicked. These guys have improved tenfold in the last year. You should really check ’em out if you’ve not experienced them. Next up were Washington’s Supersuckers. Holy shit! these guys were so good. Fast, powerful, tight as fuck thrashers. Their speed pop tunes had me nearly doing a little jig on my chair (yes, I was sitting with drink in hand as usual, but, Christ, I hate slam dancing). Next up, also from Washington, Gas Huffer. Gas Huffer was a lot like the Supersuckers but add a little Southern twang to it and, YeeeHaw! You got some hot shit goin’.

Anyways, I really enjoyed the Supersuckers best but, honestly, the majority of the crowd went apeshit for Gas Huffer. I guess Utahns just love some twang in their punk rock. Why doesn’t that surprise me?

The next Thursday, back at the Grill…

This time around Alice Donut (New Jersey’s finest five piece), Athlete’s Butt and Blowtorch Pinata

Blowtorch Pinata started kinda bad, sloppy and nervous looking, but by the third song was grooving and winning the crowd over by leaps and bounds. A strange band, kind of rhythmic, like a cross between Butthole Surfers and Big Black. I have high hopes for these guys. 

Next, Athlete’s Butt. You know, I like these guys. They’re not the best musicians, but I’ve never thought you needed to be to be a good, entertaining band. And they are entertaining. However, I’d like them a bunch better if their guitar and bass were in tune with each other. I’ve heard they weren’t intentionally, but it’s still annoying to listen to. Come on guys!!! 

Oh! Yes! Then Alice Donut. What power! What rhythm! What silliness! You’ve gotta love ’em. Hard, twisted tunes, with the vocals of a man singing like a little girl. Strange but it works, Their albums are also great, in particular, Mule. You should check ’em out and weep if you missed this show!

Tool, Concert Review: June 1992

Next show! Tool, Gravel Weed and Makeshift

But this show was on Sunday, and all ages to boot. I know a lot was riding on this show, If attendance was good, then they could do more all ages things and that would be good. O.K. Makeshift played first. Heavy heavy groove, not unlike Iceburn, but not really as crazy. Jim’s vocals are also a little more melodic. Loads of good things could come from Makeshift in time. I hope they stick together for a long while. I’m serious! That guitarist is killer! 

Second up was Gravel Weed. This band, made up of two-thirds of The Stench (Terrance and Pat) along with a new bassist (Greg), have pulled together something kind of unexpected for this trio. I expected something like The Stench but it’s not. It’s much slower, more acoustic and mellow. It’s good but I don’t know how well hardcore fans will like it. But I bet it will probably do real well with the college radio crowd. Maybe that’s what they’re looking for. 

Headlining was Tool from Simi Valley, California. Imagine Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Prong and Ministry all rolled into one hard-ass, rockin’, power band; tight, pounding and aggressive. Quite a vision and these guys live up to it. From the first power chord to the last throaty, screaming vocal rage! I don’t think anyone who witnessed Tool were disappointed.

I don’t think anyone was disappointed with any of the aforementioned shows.

Yes, the Bar & Grill is cool and it needs support. So show up to the shows, don’t fight or break shit and show some support so we can have a place for shows for a long while to come. 


Henry Rollins 

Friday, May 28 Club DV8 

Henry Rollins came to town. Said basically the same stuff he’s been saying for years. Work hard. People are generally fucked. Take care of yourself. Nobody else will. Work hard. Why should I give you the time of day just because you get in my face? Drinking is stupid: Getting fucked up on drugs is stupid. Reality CAN be stupid. So work hard. Get rid of your attitude. There is nothing good about bullshit. When you assume things you get into trouble. Fucked up shit is fucked up shit, no matter who does it or who it’s done to. Reality can be stupid but it’s what you have, so work hard, stay alive. It’s good stuff.

Rollins had Don Bejama with him. Bejama spoke first, a couple of recent items and a couple of selections from Boy In The Air. That book is a good read, well done moral tales.

The best and worst part of the night was the crowd. It is excellent that DV8 made provisions for a (mostly) all-ages show. Rollins said he’d be back in July with his band and will again be playing for an all-ages crowd at DV8. In my experience an all-ages show means people show up for the music. 

“Legal” shows (21-years plus) seem to draw people who want to talk too much about the past, something that’s not there anymore, where ever it was (if it was) and sure the fuck isn’t here and now. They have a fantasy and that is what they came for. In the process everybody stands the chance of being subjected to their fantasy. Youth at least has the advantage that it hasn’t built up enough shit inside so that it spews it out its mouth. Not that no experience is a good thing. Experience knowledge, that’s why I went to hear Henry Rollins. I wanted to see and hear what he is now.

Though he said basically the same stuff he has said before, he has changed. He related how his best friend got blown away right next to him recently in L.A, and how he got shit from the L.A. cops, as if he was the problem. He looks haggard. He acts a bit more cautious.

The crowd was interesting. Those guys who, while Bejama spoke, would stare long and moon faced at Rollins, then make a slow pan back to Bejama, as if in a trance. I suspect they were in a trance. The several guys who came up to Rollins with incredible hesitation, fake deference and a mind possessed by some kind of self-induced mis-presence. They virtually begged to be kicked. And when whatever they thought should happen, didn’t, they’d crawl away. It was painful to watch, also hilarious.

Would I have liked to talk to Henry Rollins? Sure. But l haven’t the slightest idea what I’d say in 30 seconds, or less, that would be worth the effort. Would I like to have a conversation with Henry Rollins? Sure. But a club show isn’t the place. It’s just stupid to think you could talk meaningfully for any length of time in a club with any performer in as much demand as Rollins is.

Rollins was abrupt with most of the curs. One got a better reception. He had a solid reason to come forward, delivered his message and gave Rollins a tape. He got decent reply and went on. The difference is purpose and intent. Do what you do for a reason. Think about what you do. Be intense when you do it. Bejama reads well, and people didn’t know what to expect. The story about the boy and the dog was great storytelling. I was surprised that his storytelling, of what I had read before, came over with the sexual innuendo that the crowd seemed amused by; it didn’t read like that in the book. 

Rollins’ stuff went on and on. Some great descriptions of the LA riots made me think that Rollins is probably one of the few practicing anarchists I’ve ever met. Principled detachment and individual responsibility sound great but aren’t always easy to accept, much less do, in practice. A good show, not great, but okay.

As for the drunkards upstairs, many of whom I know (and yeah, I drink too). They differed from the worst moon-faced starer downstairs only by the added hazy-active-stupor poured over them by the booze. The word disgusting comes to mind.

So what would I have said to Henry Rollins if I had talked to him? I’d have asked him, ”Hey Henry so do you … like … think you’re Frank Sinatra of our time? … I mean .. .uhh …you know, all those love songs …” They are love songs, folks. I like Henry Rollins.

Check out more from the SLUG Archives:
January 1990 Tape and Record Review
Concert Review: Soul Asylum