Nervous Impulse - This local quartet lashes into a a classic hardcore punk set with songs that show a full understanding of the style, as well as the rock hooks at the heart of the best of it. No surprise then, to learn that these guys have all been in other successful bands like the Goons, among others. So they are a perfect choice to open this night of classic punk rock. They have the musical chops to keep pace with their energy. The crowd was here early and was fully engaged in this set, as well they should. I would be happy to see them again anytime at all.
D.O.A. - This band has been far too much a part of my life to get an objective review from me. They were one of the most brilliant live punk bands in the world, maybe the best. They have circled the globe in beat-up vans and banged up equipment all held together with duct-tape and a determination to make the next town and rev up the crowd to give them a great night of music as well as to instill the desire for them to go out and actively pursue worthy goals. You don't need to take my word for it, just read Joe Keithley's autobiography while listening to the hundreds of songs recorded over the decades. In fact, it has been three and a half decades and Joe has decided the time has come to shut it down. Thankfully, he is pushing hard and touring Canada, America, and Europe before calling it a career. And thankfully the Black Cat brought them back to DC with a packed backstage room of old and young alike. The crowd was either energetic or smiling during the full of the hour set of DOA classics, as the band delivered yet again. I hardly care that the drums may have been a bit loud in the mix, due possibly to their youngest member doing one of the better takes on the Chuck Biscuits style that any of their drummers had ever done. The bass player, Dirty Dan Sedan, has been doing this for quite a while and was on the mark again tonight. And of course, Joe Keithley handled vocals and full guitar duties with his usual manner of intensity and light humor when appropriate. I normally look pretty stoic and intense even when I am enjoying a set, but tonight there was my stupid grin plastered on my face, although there was a sadness present that this important chapter of my life is closing. Joe Keithley will be writing many other chapters in politics and with his label, as well as anything else he chooses. And I will be paying attention, along with many many more.
Quote of the Night: Joe Keithley to his band mates backstage about a visit we had nine or ten years ago... "Yeah, Dave came over to my house for dinner and Monday Night Football. The Raiders jumped all over the Broncos and led 21 to 0 in the first quarter, about the last time they were good."
Man, of all of the things he has going on in his life, he gets this memory exactly right? Amazing.