lengthy subtitle to the post: Three elder statesmen (who aren’t that old really, but old enough, and aging well, though, I mean, we all look good, and smell good generally) of punk music fandom go to a great show without once verbally complaining about back or leg pain.
I met John Harvey and Geoffrey Goodwin at Boston Beer Works pre-show. We had good drinks and food. John, the beer expert, ordered expertly, while I flailed around resulting in drinks that were fine but I didn’t really want. Geoffrey let us in on a deep, dark secret about a famous/important band that he doesn’t like. I had to restrain John from flipping the table. Don’t worry, Geoffrey, I’ll take that secret to my grave.
The only dinner glitch is one that people who know me well could probably imagine. I was in the middle of a fun rant when my chicken sandwich arrived with pickles (yes, my version of first world problems). My fun rant bloomed into what we have now officially termed PICKLE ANGRY which is many levels above regular angry. To wit: Was he angry, or pickle angry? Initially I thought I was okay because the pickles were on top of the red onions, which I didn’t mind ditching, but the nasty-terrible-puke-enducing pickle juice had soaked into the bun. I flung pickles onto the table as I was pickle angry.
But we managed to compose ourselves and moseyed over to the House of Blues for the show. Our tix were for standing room on the second floor, but by the time we got in, there was no open spaces on the railings for us. I was momentarily again pickle angry. Instead of starting a second floor brawl while shouting
Billy Idol Dead Kennedys tunes, we turned our weary eyes to the third floor. Best move ever. The third floor was balcony seating with some actual seats. Those seats were supposed to cost more than the general admission, but no self-respecting punk (even old ones) would pay more for cushy seats made by and provided for the man! So we got the cushy seats for free! Sweet! Thus no complaints about John’s bursitis and Geoffrey’s corns or bunions.*
The Bronx was up first and tore it up. A highlight for me was the tune Ribcage.
The lead singer M’f’ed us concerts goers all set long, like we deserved. Near the end of the set he went into the pit with his mic. Very cool view for us from above to see the swirling bodies in the pit and somehow the staff and concert goers managing to keep the mic plugged in while knocking the crap out of the singer. It was awesome!
Bronx in the pit, from John’s camera:
Bad Religion hit the stage a little after 9:30 and played for almost two hours. 30 songs by my count, including four encores. They sounded great. Greg Gaffin was like an affable, goofy, smart ass uncle up on stage, amused by it all. I loved that for a band who wears their politics and ethos on their sleeve, they don’t take themselves seriously at all live. They poke fun of themselves (Gaffin introduced one tune with “This song is from our good old stuff”) and just let the music do their proselytizing. They impromptu performed half of “Refugee” by Tom Petty, complete with Graffin’s faux-nasal Petty impersonation.
For me, so many highlights, but they included “Generator,” “I Want to Conquer the World,” “21st Century Digital Boy,” “Suffer,” and “American Jesus.” The encore set opened with their earliest song, “Fuck Armageddon…This is Hell” and followed it up with their newest, the equally blistering “Vanity.” More pics below.
Great concert, great company, great night!
*To be fair, John and Geoffrey have never told me that they suffer from those ailments, and they likely do not. I just thought the blog post would be more interesting with that in there.