Underdog - This venerable NYC band was just here in August, headlining a hardcore matinee that was a bit sparse in attendance due to the time and a venue change (reviewed here). So it is nice to see them get a bigger venue this time around. The early start tonight had some of the crowd filtering in during and after the set, but the attendance was decent. Again, this band impressed me with their solid tight playing and no nonsense, straight ahead songs. Gruff vocals that eschewed histrionics and delivered in a straight-up, one-on-one style. The crowd was not whipped into a frenzy (show started at 6:33pm) but was impressed and sufficiently warmed up for what was to come. They slip in a reggae punk song which was vogue back in the day and still welcome as far as I am concerned. The singer asks "Do you want a fast one". After the yeahs that of course follow, he adds, "well here's a slow one". But they two songs, both slow and fast to finish up a nice 1/2 hour of tuneful hardcore.
Suicidal Tendencies - Ah, yet another trip back to the early/mid-eighties to a band I saw on their first US tour and then once again opening for the Ramones. A good friend was a roadie for the Ramones and said how much Dee Dee loved the first ST album and "Institutionalized" (a deserved monster hit that would have been even more massive 5-10 years later). So the tour was arranged. That night, my roadie pal mentioned how Dee Dee was not really thrilled with them, mentioning their dress with flannel shirts and bandannas. Of course, I don't have to point out the irony when one considers the Ramones uniforms, although Dee Dee was probably hating those at that point, too. But that was Dee Dee, hard to what you would get on any given day--yet he was still the most fun Ramone to talk to. Anyway, back to tonight. This version of course has Mike Muir on vocals with guitarists that have been around a while and a bassist and drummer that are more recent. They filled the set heavily with older material with much of it from the first two albums as far as I could pick out. They did "Institutionalized" quickly-third song I believe, and it still is a powerful and funny rant. War Inside my Head, Possessed to Skate, The Prisoner, Join the Army, I Saw Your Mommy and many more made out this 70 minute set. If this were a pro wrestling match, some old timers might complain that it is all highspots and not as much understory, but I think that is the mark of why this band works so well. They are always careening into wild guitar solos, hyper fast bass and drums, Vocals that sung, talked, screamed while Muir and the others run all over the stage. They still had the energy and the excitement went deep into the crowd, especially with the Stooges like finish with a couple dozen fans on stage during the last number. Muir pointed out that the punk magazines said they weren't punk enough and the metal magazines said they weren't metal enough, but of course they went on their own course grabbing the best of both genres. Some of their songs wear me out a bit, but it may have been due to my need to watch a rather large mosh pit (and with the stage pushed forward, the back of the club was awfully close). In conclusion, it was a good show, better than I expected.
Quote of the Night: From Underdog's singer... "Wasn't the 9:30 Club at a different location last time? (note--this band has had a looong layoff) Cuz I'm old and I forget a lot of shit". At least he wasn't looking for the Atlantis, as he's not that old.