It might be too soon to say, (it is only May after all), but I am dubbing 2012 ‘The Year Of Punk.’
(At least where Hamilton is concerned. I live here full-time, so I don’t pretend to know other cities musical states inside and out.)
The title might sound presumptuous, but I am basing it on some solid evidence. The city is having shows at least once every week. Bands and individual artists are putting out music at an incredible rate.
And perhaps my biggest indicator? Bands from the first and second wave of Canadian Punk are making their way to our fine city.
DayGlo Abortions, perhaps one of the most noted bands in Canadian Punk history, did just that on May 5th. They, along with supporting bands 1971 and The Rotten, played a spectacular set to 50 lucky people. I not only got a ticket, but I also got to take my pictures and get an interview with 2 of the band members for Thunder.
This was without a doubt a show that goes on my personal list of Best Shows Ever.
1st Band: 1971.
I don’t know a lot about the city of Kenora, Ontario. But apparently, they do have a Punk band. One who looks up to Classic Rock bands and incorporates some of the styles masterfully, making for a well-rounded sound that I enjoyed. (They also did a particularly stirring rendition of ‘Rise Above’ by Black Flag.)
1971’s set was plagued by technical errors though. Guitar straps kept coming off, and the band handled it awkwardly. I would like to see them again, and if they can handle problems like the aforementioned differently, it will be perfect.
8 out of 10.
2nd band: The Rotten.
It’s always a delight to see the Rotten. I also love hearing their takes on everything on from Punk’s current state; to politics, to not caring what others think. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Rotten set without the ubiquitous cover of the Dead Boy’s ‘Sonic Reducer.’ Chris Crash of The Steeltown Spoilers provided guest vocals as he usually does. But the audience got ecstatic and drowned him out, as they usually do.
10 out of 10.
3rd Band: DayGlo Abortions.
All week leading up to this event, I had been looking forward to it. One because of a potential interview with the band. But also because this was the DayGlo Abortions and I’m a Canadian. You can’t grow up here and not know who they are.
I was bursting with anticipation by the time they were due to hit the stage. The interview had been awesome, but I wanted to see the legends in musical action.
It was like a Punk Rock roller coaster. There were these incredible musical peaks of Hard-Core Punk that reminded me of why I listened to the genre to begin with. Murray Acton shredded on guitar. Willy Jak thundered on the bass. And Blind Mark drummed furiously. These are truly masters of the genre.
But there were also a few difficulties that I count as minor dips. I got hurt a few times by the insane mosh pits that formed behind those of us in the front; and a guitar string broke a few times through-out the set.
All in all though, it was a show that I have no hesitation in calling legendary. This is the kind of show you talk about when you’re at the Punk Rock retirement home, and you’re grandchildren beg you to shut up about because you’ve gone over it again and again.