Buzzed Bands Podcast, Ep. 2 w/ Cold Blood Club

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cro Brains At CBGBs

I headed over to CBGB's last night to see the legendary Bad Brains. As always it was 700 degrees inside and smelled like ball sweat and gym socks. I got there about ten minutes before Ensign took the stage. At first I thought I missed them but luckily that wasn't the case. I moved towards the front but stopped at the end of the bar on the stage side. I'm not 15 anymore and I sure as hell wasn't in the mood for the pit.

Ensign took the stage and thanked John Joseph and Bad Brains for letting them play. I was excited to see Ensign, they've been on top of the Jersey scene for years. It's hard to believe that this was the first time I got to see them. Anyway, they bust into the first song and the place goes fucking apeshit. The whole floor opened up and the spin kicks and face punching commenced.

I haven't been to a real hardcore show in a while so this was fun - like the good old days. The insanity of the pit died down after the first song and never really picked upp again until the last two. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with Ensign. Maybe I had my hopes too high but they just didn't live up to the hype I've been hearing the last few years. In their defense though they weren't playing in the most ideal timeslot.

I think by this point in the show I had lost about 2 pounds, so I grabbed a beer to nourish myself. Leeway was up next and the place started filling up fast. Honestly, despite all my years in the hardcore scene I never really heard much of Leeway. Of course I heard the name a thousand times and the occasional track but for the most part they slipped under my radar.

I could tell by the make up of the crowd that I was in for a good time. All the LES thug core maniacs came out of the woodwork. Anytime, I start seeing these guys I know the fucking place is going to explode. Leeway took to the stage and the singer (who looks like he was about 90 pounds) grabs the mic and starts talking shit in a heavy NYC accent. The second they went into the first song the goddamn place went berserk. I haven't seen CB's this nuts since Madball a few years back.

Unlike Ensign the craziness did not let up at all, in fact it continually intensified. There were literally people climbing on the fucking air ducts. One guy did a flip off the stage and smashed into the hanging speaker on the side. Another guy, some old crusty LES thug, climbed on top off the bar then made his way over to the PA perch and launched off into the crowd. The old school cats just know how to fuck shit up.

Leeway was so fucking tight - this was, without question, one of the best HxC sets I've ever seen. That's saying something when you consider I don't know a single fucking song by them. I'm pretty sure I'll know quite a few in the near future. Leeway owned this show - this wasn't about Bad Mags, this was all fucking Leeway.

Unfortunatly, Leeway's set ended and I had a choice to make - join the rush to the bar or take advantage of the empty floor and get a spot up front. I decided the beer could wait and I pushed my way up front to the side of the stage. Side stage was like being in a fucking oven - within seconds I was totally drenched in sweat. Of course, the one smelly asshole without a shirt on decideds to stand directly in front of me.

The wait for Bad Brains to take the stage was fucking ridiculous. It seemed like 30 minutes, but that was probably because of the heat. After the majority of the water in my body had been sweated out the Bad Brains took the stage - well, two of them at least. I knew Jon Joseph from Cro-Mags was filling in on vocals but I didn't know Mackie from Cr-Mags was going to be on drums. It was at this point I realized how ridiculus this line-up actually was. This ain't the fucking Bad Brains, man.

The Cro Brains started playing and everyone went nuts and blah, blah, blah. Mackie was fucking killing the drums - he's so goddamn good. John Joseph on the other hand... well he was trying to fill HR's shoes. As in one of the most distinct voices in punk rock HR. John gave it one hell of a shot - you could tell he was trying his best. It just didn't really work though. On the classics it didn't matter because the crowd was singing so loud you couldn't even hear him.

About five songs in I started to lose interest and I worked my way back to the bar. All the old school cats that were going apeshit during Leeway were back here relaxing. Apparently they weren't very impressed with this line-up either. I grabbed a beer and realized I was standing next to Hoya Roc from Madball and I think another guy from Cro-Mags. The crowd started getting less and less tolerant of this faux-Brains and halfway through people started leaving. I was tempted to do the same but the $25 dollar cover kept me in my place.

Bad Brains without HR are not Bad Brains - just stop it. Please go find HR in whatever looney bin he's locked up in (he's fucking crazy as shit), have a few practices, and then call yourself Bad Brains - until then take a vacation. Maybe you should keep Mackie in the mix, he's pretty fucking amazing on drums. To sum up this review: Bad Brains D+, Ensign C+, Leeway A++. Leeway fucking owned!

**Update: Video of Leeway's entire set here.

Bad Brains

Leeway

Ensign

Joly was there from Punkcast, so keep an eye out for video from this one.

MP3's:

2 comments:

shadow said...

shit! unfortunately I missed Leeway's set cuz I was on a date at the Y.Y.Yeahs's bowery show.
Their set was mediocre, as well as my date...so I left before they were finished.

I agree w/Cro-Brains being all that great...I was thinking what if they did a Cro-mags tune while they're at it. The pit was sweet though!

joly said...

I would agree with you about Leeway's set on Friday.

Spectacular.

In fact, of all those 'Save CBGB' shows, with the west coast bands and all, that I attended I'd say nothing came close to this for sheer
intensity.

Unfortunately, I did not have permission to shoot Leeway for punkcast - but I believe the band got it for possible future DVD use.

I thought the Brains were pretty got too, on Friday, because the crowd, as far as the front went were well into it, and the band sounded well crisp.

And I loved the dub versions of the Cro-mags songs, and that's most likely what I will post on punkcast.

Saturday. I stepped out during Leeway, round to B&H for a quick hot borscht, so I can't say how that compared. But as far as the Brains went, I didn't like it as much. Sound was a bit muddier upfront, and, it being a little less crowded, gave a more room for crazy moshing, which meant that there weren't so many kids upfront singing along. Others, tho, such as the CBGB sound guy, thought Sat. was the better show.

A joyful moment, earlier on Saturday, was when Joan Jett got up with The Vacancies to do 'Bad Reputation'

I also thought another opener, Charge, on Friday weren't bad at all.

Related Posts with Thumbnails