Oh, wait there's a fashion in the other room of the venue, which means there will be frequent socialites walking into the OFF! side with fashion fauxhawks? Oh my god! It's orgasmic! Read More!
PUNK IS NOT DEAD!! PUNK IS NOT DEAD!!! PUNK IS NOT DEAD!!!
Cerebral Ballzy took the stage innocently enough with a fake, slightly uninterested act, but of course the crowd knew better. They began with "On The Run", the first track off their new album, which had a pit swirling and thrashing literally as soon as the first chords rang. From there the immense anticipation for nearly every one of their short hardcore lash-out anthems was clear, a few songs even got a pit spinning before the band even started playing. The entire band whole heartedly tore through every single song, while their frontman, Honor Titus, brought everything into personification, and frequently ventured off stage. They performed in a youthful fury that should make anyone with memories of "back in the day" tear up at the sheer amazing sight that is Cerebral Ballzy.
OFF!... Was nearly beyond word's accurate description. Many phrases that fail to properly quantify the experience come to mind, much like a sufferer of tourette's. Such phrases as "Epic!", "Orgasmic", & "Amazing" immediately follow thoughts of the night, but alas fail miserably at conveying the level of intense ecstasy provided that night. With that disclaimer being said, let's move on.
OFF! casually walked on stage to greet the hundreds of rabid Punks who already had unreasonably high expectations for the night, and who also would have those expectations met, satisfied and subsequently burned in a pool of lighter fluid(... just for the extra entertainment of it). After a short moment of frontman Keith Morris conversing with the crowd and lightly responding to the many inexplicable cries of "F*ck you, Keith Morris!"; they then began a night of chaos. The band started by ripping through "Black Thoughts", followed by "Darkness". While the pit was very small, it was only because the entire mass of people spent their time as close as possible to the stage to thrash about and scream along. They barreled through a few more songs like "I Don't Belong", and "Now I'm Pissed", before even taking a moment to say another word to the crowd. Now, given the fact that OFF! has 16 songs totaling 17 minutes on their first album, and a single totaling 3 1/2, plus a few stray bonus tracks, it makes one wonder how they fill a respectable sized set. The short answer: they play all but two songs they've written, and the rest is filled in by the highly unique and entertaining banter of Keith Morris.
Keith got 2 or 3 chances to sit and converse with the overly-hyper crowd that he often had to calm down. Much like the hyperactive child too impatient for story time, the crowd was frequently restless and what shout many interrupting phrases. Keith would then take the role of the stern and calm parent: "Hold on now! What hurry are you in? It's Friday, where do you have to be tomorrow? Now, chill out and enjoy things for a minute.". When he wasn't harassing people trying desperately to shake his hand or random girls trying to whisper in his ear, which he would walk away from and retaliate by saying "No, this isn't Facebook talk time right now. Leave Facebook at Facebook."; Keith would explain why a song was written or other details. In the case of "Jeffery Lee Pierce" he explained a few things about his friend from the Gun Club, how many people his band influenced, and the urged the crowd to check out his music.
By what seemed to be the end of a long blur of flying beer sweat, and unmatchably intense, honest, Hardcore Punk Rock; the band left the stage... For a minute... The crowd feverishly demanded more, but the band had to address an issue. "See, due to the infant nature of a band like ours, we run into a problem. We run out of songs.[though technically they had two they hadn't played yet if you count b sides and bonus tracks] So, we're going to do what an old band did when they ran out of songs. That band being my old one, Black Flag... We would start our set over again." At which point they launched back into "Black Thoughts" and "Darkness" before bidding the crowd an official goodnight. The entire band was kind enough to wander around the venue or merch booth for those who wanted to greet and thank them for such an impossibly fun night.
I can't help but think of all the people I've heard rant about how seeing The Clash was a "religious experience" as it is so commonly called. While my musical tastes are slightly prohibitive of me being able to find that believable, I know for fact that there is no Punk show that can be described as better than this one. I have found the meaning of life, and that meaning is called OFF!. Very simple. While, those of you that have read the site throughout its history, you will already know I have become a wordy bastard, but I have had to omit so many exciting parts of this show that stand out in my mind to avoid writing a legitimate book.
OFF! MUST BE SEEN! You cannot die happy without seeing OFF! Cerebral Ballzy too. No exceptions.
... I must be forgetting some- ... Oh, right... Pictures!