Set to Explode - This is harDCore done simply and effectively. Nothing out of control here and the DC sound is evident with a certain tunefulness present much of the time. It is a four-piece with one guitar. My only gripe would be that the songs did not come out fast and furious. Although delays were needed late in this short set as guest musicians popped up as we were treated to a Black Market Baby song "Drunk and Disorderly" and then two more guests (Kenny and Mike) popped up to do a couple of Marginal Man songs. This is quite nostalgic for me as I was at both bands farewell shows when I lived in DC from 87-88 (not counting the numerous reunion shows). Quick little warm-up for this crowded, sold out room.
The Goons - A latter day harDCore punk band that had a good long run in DC also did a last show in 2006. But like Michael Meyers and Terry Funk, nothing stays dead or retired forever. So the Goons were back and in good form tonight. They have a two guitar attack with a vocalist, although thanks to broken strings, the attack went down to one guitar on a couple of occasions. The singer can still get lots of words into each measure, although the music does leave enough room for hooks to come through as was the case with most harDCore acts. This was a good set that had the crowd rocking, but may have been a tad long at 55 minutes. But its Saturday night, so what the hey.
Government Issue - Ah, December. Last year it brought Scream back to us. This year, it is Government Issue who also was back in 2007 as Government Reissue for a fun show. This was the final and most stable lineup (also the best) in complete form with Stabb on vocals, Lyle on guitar, Robbins on bass, and Moffet on drums. This band's sound was never an easy fit in punk/hardcore, yet was always an obvious and important punk band. That was to their credit as they combined originality with comfortable genre styles (several genres beyond punk) for a great run of records and live shows. And did they ever sample those songs tonight. I counted 38 of them and I enjoyed every one of them. The band sounded like they do this 6 nights a week. Everyone was in good form and the crowd was into it with lots of help on the choruses. Stabb was his usual energetic self and it looked like the band was having as much fun as the crowd. Musically, this material is still fresh and vibrant, especially the latter day material that these four guys wrote and played. Hopefully, this is not the last.
Set list: Teenager is a Box/Strange Wine/Fun and Games/Written Word/Hear the Scream/Party Line/Broken Mirror/Hall of Fame1+2/Jaded Eyes/Say Something/Blending In/Understand/Caring Line/Plain to See/4-Wall Hermit/Don't Bother Me(Bad Brains)/Organized Sports/It Begins Now/Asshole/Where You Live/They Know/Puppet/Familiar/Beyond/Man in a Trap/Forever/Wishing/Public Stage/Hour of One/Time To Escape... (whew) Encores: Sheer Terror/GI/Vanity Fair/Fahionite/These Boots are Made for Walking
Quote of the Night: Nothing fancy tonight, just that I happily accept the Goons dedication... "This is dedicated to all the geezers out there."