Screaming Females - Another three-piece here with a woman singing and playing guitar again. I take a spot by the sound board and hear music that is tougher than that of the first band. The vocals are a little more toward Joan Jett this time. Then, the guitar work which had kind of a post punk, edgy beginning starts going into wild places. Normally I don't care a lot with trying to figure out a band's sound, but I really felt the need to get up close and see if all these sounds were coming from the one guitarist (while handling all vocal duties for that matter). Shortly after I moved up, Ian MacKaye popped out from backstage to also take a look. I am not sure if he was amazed as I was to see Marissa Paternoster play such amazing guitar runs, but he was joining me in bobbing his head around to get a view of her playing. And it really was amazing. There was a punk metal style to it all, but post punk and psyche moves were also present. I was hearing Bevis Frond/Entrance Band style jams and flourishes along with really odd post punk angles. Power chords, fast near-Michael Schenker style leads and I swear I even heard some Thomas Mapfumo runs and Wipers patterns. I can pretty much guarantee you that I will never describe a guitarist like this again. Remember how Bubba Dupree amazed people in DC with his band Void many years back? Well, this was all of that and then some. And I won't forget the rhythm section who also did a great job. I don't get blown away by a band these days as often as I did when I was young, but it happened here. It seemed that much of the crowd agreed with me that this was one amazing performance tonight.
Against Me! - The crowd was really revved up for this Florida four-piece. The band did not disappoint as it launched into its anthemic punk rock attack with song after song after song. Or rather it was more anthem after anthem after anthem. Frankly, it was a little much for me as earnest intensity is something I handled better 30 years ago with a quaint band like Sham 69. For an example of how to balance anthems with more variety and dynamics, do join me for the Stiff Little Fingers show this Saturday. But I can see I am somewhat in the minority tonight, as the club has filled up more than I expected and is getting into this set. Can't say that I blame them as the band is crisp and has loads of energy. I think I preferred Rise Against in the battle of the "Against" bands. Thankfully, I don't think we'll see a run of Against bands like we saw with Wolf bands a few years back. I have the same issues tonight that I have with Flogging Molly to some degree. I don't begrudge anyone for thinking how great these bands are, but I will stay a bit more in the 'I respect them' camp. But to try to explain a bit of my cynicism, I did particularly enjoy these brief comments I heard. The singer said "This is a protest song called
Quote of the Night: Nothing notable not already mentioned, but I promised a friend I would mention a quote we heard while at our jobs scorekeeping little league baseball games over 30 years ago. The quote has lived with us and haunts us still. Woody Woodring ran his mouth (as he did frequently) so that anyone within 30 yards of him heard "Like I said before, I don't care if we win or lose, as long as we shut 'em out."