Loud Boyz - Appropriately enough, we have a solid local punk band doing the honors tonight and getting this show off on the right foundation. The twin guitar attack has a loose rock appeal with a touch of hyper-Dictators meets Lazy Cowgirls through the Dead Boys and NY Dolls. As the set moves along, the songs actually sound a bit more classic harDCore. I think they marry the loose punk style with the fast hardcore sound, keeping melodies in the mix as well. Not at all bad and more often than naught, quite decent. The crowd is sufficiently warmed and they have pretty much packed the room by set's end.
Buzzcocks - Well, this ripped. Even with many years between shows, these guys barely age (aside from Pete Shelley looking more John Martyn with gray beard). They have all the vitality and energy of youth and of course, they have the songs. Of course much of the youth, lies in Steve Diggle who looks like he should keep doing this until he dies on stage--his sheer joy at playing and working with a crowd is something to behold. They did a fine job of doing loads of the oldies, but they also placed in fine songs from over the recent couple of decades as well as sharp numbers from their new album. They didn't get in for a sound check so after a minute of checking lines and then just cutting loose, things got off to a great start (pay attention younger, finicky bands). The sound guys tweaked it a bit and everything clicked well enough. By half way through they were hitting full stride, with short breaks to allow the music to pummel the crowd with its power and all of the awesome pop hooks. My co-contributor Kyle was here and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially how they built momentum and then brought it home on a high. Some of the older classic punk bands operated at their best in the underground, which was good for them and good for us. However, the fact that the Buzzcocks did not break in a big, big way (especially in the US) is near-criminal. In an alternate universe somewhere, the Buzzcocks would have exploded into the pop and rock charts and sold a zillion records. I would have rather lived there, where popular music was great music.
Obit note... As I was putting together the Ian Anderson interview, I learned that Jethro Tull's original bassist, Glenn Cornick had passed away. He was the first original member of that band to pass on and he was always one of the more popular players among Tull fans. His strolling bass line on Bouree will live on for many generations to come and his sharp bass lines in the various styles they employed on the first three albums are worthy of study. He seemed like a really good guy and I am sorry he is not around, relaxing in Hilo, and still playing.