Damnation A.D. - I started this six-night run of shows with a creative punk show this past Monday downstairs from the main stage here. That show featured three creative takes on hardcore. It appears we are back to the basics tonight. Straight, heavy, metallic hardcore here. The singer is screaming about "Decontrol" but not quite as effective as Discharge did decades ago. The singer paces while simmering away. Two guitars, bass and drums provide the thick crunching sounds. I wonder just how many layers of Dante's Hell you can navigate during this 33-minute set.
Strike Anywhere - This five-piece has the same instrumental look that all three bands will have tonight. Yet they all do something a little different. This, however, is much closer to the Marginal Man style but with perhaps even more energy. More jumping than stalking by this band as they lay out fast flowing hardcore moves with enough bite to leave an impact. Fun songs, easy to get into and most people did.
Marginal Man - This is at least the second "We're still out here" show they have played after playing their farewell show at the old 9:30 Club in the spring of 1988. I hit three big farewell shows within a few months of that one and none of them stayed retired as both Black Market Baby and the Meatmen have been back as well. But Marginal Man has been more selective and it showed with a near sell-out crowd tonight. The sound was pretty disappointing as everything sounded rather washed out and indistinct. The vocals came through, but I never felt this was the band's strong point. In fact, I think the band was comprised of some good guys with great attitudes, but musically they did not take hold with me as much as the other DC bands did from that era. There was a long equipment delay after the first song, but things picked up after that. The crowd up front was digging it, but it seemed a little quieter in the back. Hard to know if it was the sound or the laid-back crowd in general. But hey, it's for the band, for the friends and fans. And the band was playing well enough and had decent enthusiasm. It just was not the best of nights for me, but I think six nights of shows were taking their toll.
Quote of the Night: I did not hear anything beyond the ordinary, so thinking back a few shows, I did like the fair question someone asked of me "Do you make any money at this?" And everyone can pretty much guess my instant answer. "Uh, no." But I added that so many of these bands don't either, so we hopefully are all enjoying the ride. I am.