Of course the show was running late but that was nothing a few warmish beers couldn't help. The band on when I arrived was Bugs In The Dark, who I've heard of many times but don't think I've ever seen; they were good. The Teen Age came on next and I thought they were pretty solid. The singer's vocal style kinda threw me at first though. He was really bassy during the first song but as the set went on he found his groove and actually has a pretty interesting voice and a wide range. The Teen Age were pretty damn solid, check them out if you can.
After that I headed over to the Jameson Lounge with my buddy Malcolm for some free drinks and some grub. The Beets were going on when we got there. I dig the Beets so it was a nice surprise to see that they were playing.
After the set we decided to head over to Music Hall of Williamsburg for Adolescents and Subhumans. They were allowing 75 badges in so we wanted to get there early and get stamped so we could come back later. The idea was to go over to Grand Victory and see if we could get into the secret Black Flag show. Well, as it turns out, while I was walking over there I got a message saying I was on the list! I was pretty excited about the idea of seeing Black Flag in a venue that only fits 100 people (if that).
We hung around outside of Grand Victory chatting for a bit when Ron Reyes (Black Flag vocals) comes out. Malcolm starts chatting with him and he asks us what else we're doing. We tell him we were thinking about going back to see Adolescents and Subhumans. He says, "I wanna go!" and asks us how far away it is. After we tell him it's less than 10 minutes away he runs inside to check what time he needs to be back. He comes out and says, "let's go!"
My night went from not knowing if I could even get into the Black Flag show to not only getting in but hanging around with Ron Reyes and actually going to see the Adolescents with him - crazy! We got to Music Hall and talked to the door man who let Ron right in and then headed over to the merch table. We told the merch dude (who ended up being one of the guitarists for Adolescents) Ron was here and five minutes later Tony from Adolescents is downstairs with us. So now it's me Ron Reyes, Tony Cadena and my pal Malcolm just hanging out. It was pretty surreal for a dude who grew up on punk.
After awhile people started realizing what was going on and started swarming for photos. At some point Ron snuck out of there and probably headed backstage. The Adolescents went on around 9:30pm and the place was packed. It was a really fun show, people were stage diving, dancing on stage and singing along with Tony. At one point an overly excited fan wiped out and took down Tony. He took a pretty hard fall and it took him a minute to get back on his feet. He stopped the song and told everyone they could do whatever they wanted as long as they don't knock him on his ass.
Around 10:30pm or so I started getting a little nervous about Black Flag. I knew they weren't going on until after 11pm but I was worried the venue might fill up and I wouldn't be able to get back in. So I left while the Adolescents were still on stage and skipped out on Subhumans. I felt terrible because I absolutely love Subhumans and think they are one of the best live punk bands around.
I got back to Grand Victory and of course I walked right in. I considered heading back to Music Hall but I saw a few friends and decided to stick around thinking that Greg Ginn's other band, who were on stage, would be wrapping it up soon. I sure was wrong about that. I think they played for another hour after I arrived and by the time that Black Flag went on the Subhumans show was already over. Not only could I have stuck around but I could have caught the entire set! Damn it.
Anyhow, Black Flag eventually came on and the room filled up with people coming over from the Adolescents/Subhumans show. Black Flag played almost exactly the same set as Friday night, which is fine by me because it includes most of my favorite Black Flag tunes. The pit was a lot tamer than I expected but I that's because the goon faction wasn't really in attendance. It was actually a pretty mellow and fun pit, not violent at all. I jumped in for "TV Party" and "Six Pack" but I was drenched in sweat after just two songs so I got the hell out of there and headed to the bar for a beer.
When I got back to the bar I see Dick (singer) from Subhumans hanging around. I didn't say anything to him because it was just too damn loud for conversation unless you were all the way by the door. Black Flag fucking killed it, which is no surprise. I really have to commend Ron for sounding great, his voice was still on point even after three consecutive nights of shows. It was truly amazing to see legends perform in a room that small. I really had an awesome time last night. Robert from Scenic did a hell of a job putting it together and keeping it under wraps.
After the gig everyone poured out into the street for some fresh air (did I mention it was really hot?). That's when I said hello to Dick from Subhumans. He was heading across the street for drinks. I had actually agreed to meet my buddy Marty over there anyway. A couple of minutes after I get to the bar the Subhumans bust in and start shooting pool and drinking. I talked to the guitar player for awhile, very nice guy, and then said hello again to Dick. One funny thing that happened was the bartender had a Def Leppard album playing straight through and all these crusty old punk dudes were all singing along. It was hilarious since, you know, punks are supposed to hate bands like Def Leppard.
We hung out for awhile, we were both hammered at that point so I have no clue what we talked about. At some point he goes, "I like you. I'm gonna buy you a drink." He asked me what we were drinking so I tell him whiskey and he orders up some shots. So now I'm slamming whiskey shots with Dick from Subhumans. He's a real nice dude and it was super cool hanging out with him although I'm still bummed I missed their set.
I don't know what time it was when I left but when I walked outside the Subhumans were out there drinking and singing in the street. I think they had a car parked on the curb with the stereo blasting. Everything was a blur at this point but I said my goodbyes and went home.
So to recap I hung out with Ron Reyes from Black Flag and even took him over to an Adolescents show. Then I hung for a bit with Tony from Adolescents and Ron from Black Flag. And later in the night I'm doing shots with Dick from Subhumans. Quite the fucking night, if I do say so myself.
|w/ Dick from Subhumans|