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DRI and Zero Percent Concert Review,Austin, TX, December 1, 2015

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IMG_1568DRI is one of those bands that I could likely name most of their albums but not know a single song title off of any of them.  A good amount of my friends love them and I never gave them much of a listen.  I decided the day of the show that I’d go just for the hell of it.  I binged listened to several of their albums at work to get a feel for what they were all about.  The later stuff, as most people know, was more metal.  They could really write some riffs.  Out of all the stuff that I listened to, Four of a Kind is probably my favorite.

My friends in Zero Percent were opening up the show.  This band features guys who have been in the rock, punk and metal scene in Austin for a long ass time.  They hit the stage and ripped through their Lonestar and whiskey infused punk set to a good response from the crowd that was starting to fill in for DRI.  It was an early show so they finished up around 9PM.  One cool random fact is that the guitarist, bassist and drummer all play left handed.

After a quick break, DRI hit the stage and automatically a pit happened at the front and stayed active throughout the whole show.  Lots of mohawks and studded denim jackets to be found.  Spike (g) and Kurt (v) are the only two originals left in the quartet that originally hailed from Houston and moved to San Francisco.

I have to say that I enjoyed their set quite a bit, even not knowing any songs.  I can also hear their influence in a lot of newer bands.  The venue, The Sidewinder, is run by the folks who previously ran Red 7.  It’s quite a bit smaller but that hasn’t stopped them from bringing in good sized national acts like DRI, Exodus and Agnostic Front.  I’d guestimate that there were maybe 125 or so folks at the DRI show, maybe a little more.  I was down near the front at the edge of the pit and it never got packed where we were.


Black Flag Concert Review, Austin, TX 5/23/2013

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Black_Flag_-_Jealous_Again_coverI’ll just be up front about it.  No one could ever accuse me of being a punk rock fan.  The vast majority of it does nothing for me although there are some bands in the genre that I do like such as GBH, Circle Jerks, OFF!, JFA, Agent Orange (first album only), some Reagan Youth and Black Flag.  While I can name most of Black Flag’s releases, I can only name a handful of songs.  Why?  Because I guess I’m not a true fan.

Black Flag was a band that I sort of got familiar with through old friends and bandmates in the mid-80s who skated a lot.  Hanging out with them got me familiar enough, not to mention reading their copies of Thrasher Magazine.  My favorite by them is the Jealous Again EP and I have also owned Damaged, My War and Slip It In at various times over the years.  Jealous Again is the only one I kept.

The latest version of Black Flag features Greg Ginn and Ron Reyes with Dave Klein and Gregory Moore.  When I saw that they were touring and opening their US tour in Austin, I had to go.  Again, while I’m not the biggest fan, I knew I would at least get some of the Reyes era stuff and hopefully see a good show with lots of energy and be able to see a decent mosh pit…from a distance, since I’m old and not in the mood to get slammed in to anymore.

The show was at a new punk oriented venue in Austin called Multiply Infest which is at the old Antone’s location downtown.  My friend, Don (aka Chuck Schick) and I head into town, park, grab some cho (chinese food) and head over to the club.  There was a ridiculously long line but we ended getting moved into another line pretty quickly after one of the employees had some of us with tickets move around the corner to a side door.  Overall about 15 minutes in line(s) and we were in.  Whatever, we had tickets so I wasn’t too concerned and I surely wasn’t trying to be up front.

I saw some good friends, chatted it up for a while.  Locals Deadly Reign opened up but I wasn’t paying much attention.  Black Flag had a ton of merch which included most of their 12″ and 7″ releases as well as a variety of shirts.  Everything was $10 which is a good deal compared to most merch prices at concerts these days.  I picked up a Jealous Again shirt.

During Deadly Reign’s set, I see an older gent walking around with a glass of red wine and I nudged Don and said, “Dude, is that Greg Ginn?”  “I think so.”  I pulled a picture up on my phone to make sure then just walked over, shook his hand and just said, “Thanks.”  Didn’t need a photo and didn’t want to draw a lot of attention to him.  He thanked me for coming and that was it.  The guy has done some legendary stuff, no matter how much of a fan I may not be, I have a lot of respect for him.  Apparently he lives just north of Austin now…seemingly everyone is moving here.

His “side band”, Good For You, went on next.  I heard several people compare it to the later Rollins era Black Flag stuff as it was slower…and utterly boring.  It was the same guys in Black Flag with Mike Vallely on vocals who apparently used to skate pro for Powell-Peralta.  The high point was the bass player.  That dude was pretty damned good, but the music wore me out and seemed to take a lot of energy out of the crowd.

After a short break and no set change since it was the same backing band, Black Flag took the stage.  A small pit ensued up front but never seemed to be a rager like I had expected.  I think I have seen better pits at metal shows.  Maybe because it was an older crowd?  I don’t know and it’s not really important.  Ron Reyes sounded great and even jumped in the crowd a time or 2.  But overall the band was boring.  The sound was awful and surely not loud enough and it seems that the use of AC in the building was kept to a minimum.  I guess that’s “punk”?  Maybe it was broken?  I don’t know.  I do know that it was hot and muggy in there.  Then the theremin.  Greg Ginn was using a fucking theremin.  OK, sure, I don’t know all of their stuff but I am pretty sure that they never used a theremin.

I had really low expectations going in and even those were let down a bit.  Walking outside I heard a lot of people complaining as we waded through the sea of folks standing on the sidewalk.  I did get to hear the handful of songs that I remembered and liked, so that was cool.

Now I just hope that Flag with Keith Morris makes its way through Austin.  After seeing OFF! 2 years ago at SxSW, I’d totally be down for seeing Flag.

The setlist below surely has some songs missing.  These are just what I remember.

Written by The Metal Files

May 24, 2013 at 7:12 am