Pramas arrived home from GTS around 1:30am Friday morning. He debriefed me on his GTS experiences, we compared notes on what he saw and heard on the ground at the show and what I learned through the magic of the internet. Between the two, I feel a bit like I've viewed GTS through a telescope. I'm sorry I missed the first hand of the GTS poker game where Ryan Dancey, probably hoping to intimidate the table, went all in and got OWNED to the amusement of pretty much everyone else at the show. I am not sorry I missed one of the guys in my grudge book who sought Chris out and offered to literally grovel before me in a vain attempt to gain my forgiveness...unfortunately, groveling doesn't undo the wrongs and feeling sorry now that you've been caught out as a lying, cheating, back-stabbing, vindictive weasel and public prick is all just self-pity and has nothing to do with sincere regret for the pain caused or a desire (or ability) to make sincere amends, so there will be no forgiveness from me, sorry. I prefer the you-cease-to-exist-in-my-world solution. Anyway, Pramas and I ended up talking until 3:30am or so, and I was up again by 7:00, so one might think that I wouldn't have a chance in hell of being awake and ready for a punk show last night.
Last night Anti-flag was playing and I was so there. I'd been looking forward to this show quite a bit and was downright bouncy in anticipation. For only the second time in as many years we had someone actually come to the house to babysit Kate while we went out. Carol did us a huge favor and I was thrilled to be going out, especially after a week of being home alone with Kate and the various GR and technology issues I'd been juggling. Woohoo!
Sadly, there were five bands on the ticket last night and at least two of them Pramas really disliked. We missed the A.K.A.s, but I bought their CD for $5 on my way out in penance. Also just missed another appearance by our wonderful, progressive Congressman Jim McDermott
. McDermott has appeared at other Anti-Flag shows and even featured meeting with the band
in his official newsletter, so I wasn't surprised to hear he was at the show. Sorry I missed him! He and the boys are currently on a campaign against
the use of depleted uranium in weapons.
We arrived in the midst of Smoke or Fire
, who I liked well enough, but who were brilliant compared to The Unseen
and the hated Casualties
. Man, I've seen the Casualties a couple of times now, and try as I might I just can't get into them. I swear Jorge's voice gets markedly worse every time. Bleh. Many of the kids in the crowd were totally into them, covered in Casualty patches and t-shirts and belting out the lyrics (most of which seemed to be "fuck you" of course). The kids in the pit were crazed. I liked The Unseen a bit better, if only for their earnest enthusiasm for what they're doing, though I would have to put the "singer" in the "toneless screaming" category of "singing". I much prefer a little tune and variety in my bands, I have to say. We briefly thought the Casualties set was going to be cut short as Jake, their guitarist, had to leave the stage with blood running down his hand, but Rick Lopez, the bassist, was just getting started so he didn't want to stop the set early and picked up the guitar to keep going. This attracted the attention of the Anti-Flag guys, who peeked out onto stage and made impressed faces and gave approving nods. Next thing you know, #2 is out on stage helping by picking up Rick's discarded bass, as they launch into The Ramones (the result of Lopez saying, 'Fuck, what do I know how to play on the guitar!? Quick: The Ramones!' I'm sure). By that point, classic covers were fine with me.
Between sets we stood around talking to Rick Achberger, who we met up with at the show. We were clearly the old punks in the crowd, especially where we were standing. Lots of teenage boys attending the show with their girlfriends who I just cannot
believe were actually into the Casualties. Lots of spikes and 'hawks, all the stereotypical punk show staples. Lots of earnest young punks that were just sooooo cute, with their mohawks and braces. Rick overheard at least two boys talking about how their moms sew their patches on for them. Awwwww, baby punks are so adorable! Our chatter entertained at least a few people in our general area, though. Someone said something about it being St. Patrick's Day and I cracked, "Well that would explain the guys in kilts I saw downtown," and the kid next to me laughed. I'm sure we came off as crusty old punks or something, especially when Pramas was making his unimpressed commentary, "Every generation needs one of these bands, but I've already had mine." Heh.
Anti-Flag were good fun and I had a really good time. They're such a funny band, like punks with a Bill & Ted
vibe. Several times they commented about "the community" and how we need to be united and look out for each other, etc. I would not have been surprised to hear #2 come out and say "Be excellent to each other." Of course, it was hard for me to be all "The people united will never be divided" when the bony little Paris-Hilton-wannabe girlfriend-of-a-punk was busily rubbing her frat-boy-to-be boyfriend and elbowing me in the tit repeatedly. Luckily I eventually positioned myself behind the tiny chick in the Flogging Molly shirt. She didn't even come up to my chin, so I had a great view over her head most of the night. After a brief public service announcement about a petition against the use of depleted uranium and how we can make a difference by being together and speaking out against this crap, she turned to one of her friends and said, "See? Register to vote!" and I joined in, "Yeah, dude, register to vote!" Cracked up their other friend.
I have to say it was nice to be in a crowd of like-minded individuals ready to speak out, put their fists in the air and oppose racism, police brutality, the abhorrent behavior of our fucking proto-fascist regime, media control, and corporations run amok.