With Retox and Cerebral Ballzy
Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale
Sunday, October 23, 2011
View a slide show from the concert here.
Better Than: Whatever else you were doing last night.
Last night Off!, a band that has an insane amount of buzz, played in South Florida, and many were absent. Not only was it a hyped band but a hyped band with a "members of" list that reads like a punk-rock museum, and many folks missed out.
members of the Locust and a few other notable bands. Frontman Justin
Pearson was pretty obviously upset about the lack of appreciation for
his band's brand of screachy grind and asked at one point if the
audience was as bored as the band. Though this style was de rigueur a
few years ago, it was a bit lost on the crowd of people filing in with
their freshly purchased Off! T-shirts draped over their shoulders.
Steven McDonald lurked in the back of the club during their set and
gave a "hoot" when they were finished. His was the only one.
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bands, Cerebral Ballzy. The skate punks from Brooklyn played an awesome
set of fun-loving punk about "pizza, girls, skate boarding,
cheeseburgers" and were very well-received by the now slightly larger
crowd. The singer caught loogies in his mouth and was visibly drunk as
he yelled his way through the band's breakneck tempos. Ballzy delivered
pretty much everything you'd want in a fun punk-rock band. They have
releases being distributed via the Adult Swim webstore, so chances are
you've heard one of their tunes at some point during that programming
Off! got things moving at 10 p.m., and
the crowd erupted forth as the band struck up the song "Black
Thoughts." The band is unbelievably energetic, and the band's volume
bares the same anger the lyrics express. It was hard to tell if
guitarist Dimitri Coats (of Burning Brides) was banging his head or if
it was being forced down by the air pressure that his full stack was
blowing out. Next year, the band will probably change its name to
What!?, but I feel this is the kind of power you should want from a punk-rock band.
stirred up, and people skanked and circle-pitted through the far too
spacious Culture Room. Keith Morris exhibited a passion for his art that
most people half his age can't compete with. His eyes rolled back in his
head before he was compelled to release his blurts and barks of social
commentary. Morris introduced his tribute to lost friend and the Gun
Club founder Jeffrey Lee Pierce with a somewhat somber speech, only to
be interrupted by an overexcited fan shouting something about how
thankful he was to not be at a Misfits show. Morris handled the
interruption with the kind of patience only 30 years in punk rock can
teach and continued with his dedication to his "best friend and younger
counted off personal favorite of the night "Crawl," which flowed into "Rat
Trap." The night was punctuated with Morris' small speeches about what
the songs were about and about the world in general. Notorious for being a
man with a lot to say (see our Q&A with him here), there was a small
back story to every cluster of songs including a small speech on
"dipshits" and the civil rights movement.
band ended the show with "Panic Attack," and following a chant of Off!
Off! Off!, it returned for an encore. As Morris explained, the bands in
Hermosa at the Church only knew about 16 songs each, so rather than
play a cover or an unreleased number, Off! did what it would've done in the
early '80s... started the set over again!
form, the band members played their asses off to the people who did show up. We
caught up with bassist Steven McDonald at Danny's Pizza before Cerebral
Ballzy played, and he seemed disappointed with the turnout, describing
the show as potentially "humbling." While Steven insinuated that it may
have to do with economic times, we have to disagree. A band with this
pedigree could have charged quite a bit more than it did, and the
truth of the matter is that when you equate the cost of this ticket to beers
downtown, you don't have much of an argument.
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Morris reprimanded a fan who was punching people in the back in a most
patient manner, telling the fan to "be nice -- you could make some friends
while since I've been to a show at the Culture Room, but the place was
playing the same Iggy Pop live video between bands that I saw last time.
Is that the only DVD it has?
Best Hairstyles of the Night: