Over the hill: Baby punks go for the devil
After years of close-calls, the one thing a member of the counter-culture like me fears most finally occurred. Last Friday, August 30, at the "Rock and Roll Will Kill You" show at Tokyo Rose, my friends and I were the oldest people there.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, my claim to be a card-carrying member of the aforementioned group is way more than half jest (I've never even committed an act of eco-terrorism), but it was a bit of a shocker when the only other "oldies" in the crowd were the bartender and the sound-guy.
For All Time was the first band in the Rose's questionably all-star lineup. I wish I could say more about the band, but I was participating in a birthday-related sushi eat-off upstairs, and only caught a smidgen of the group. They were hard and scream-based, I can say that, in an At The Drive In-minus-the-hooks sort of way.
Next up was the act that all the youngsters seemed to have come to see– the Deadbeats, a band not much older than the young audience. They played exuberant punk rock– hard hitting drums, power chords, and the like. Their singer and lead guitarist bantered with the crowd in a relaxed fashion– he seemed to possess a stage manner beyond his years.
Their set list included punkified covers of "Blue Suede Shoes," sung in an extremely non-Elvis fashion, a Chuck-Berry cover, and a song by harder-than-hard punkish band the Misfits. Definitely the crowd pleaser from their own stock was "Fuck You, Baby," with a sung/shouted chorus that the crowd easily emulated, "Fuck you baby, fuck you baby, no moreeeeee."
Forty five minutes of setting up what appeared to be just three guitar stacks (amps), and a drum set did not endear the next act, the Devil Tones, to me to begin with, and their act did not make up for the affront– they were hard-hard very loud rock without much melody to speak of– not exactly my cup of tea.
I had come to see RPG, the last act up, mostly because their name is the acrnoym for "role playing game" (whether this was intentional, I cannot say). I pictured mid-20 year olds in thick rimmed glasses and other assorted geek-rock wear– the sure sign of a great, or at least hilarious, band. Unfortunately, the Devil Tones went on so late that RPG would not have been able to play for long anyway, so I decided to save my inner-ear hair-cells for more shows and give the group a rain-check.
Next time you gentlemen play in town, let me know. I'll wear my geekiest, just for you.