No Control, Sidekick, No Advisory, Symbol Six, Killroy, Guttermouth
Weber’s, Reseda, CA
Sunday, December 19, 2011
Time: 8:30 PM
I was hanging out with record label owner a while back and said label owner was telling me about this quirk that Tim Armstrong, of Rancid, is said to have about going to shows. He (rumor has it) doesn’t like to be out in public. He’ll be invited to shows, he’ll decline, but if he’s harassed into going, he’ll show up, say “Hi” to everyone, excuse himself to go to the bathroom, or get a drink, and no one will see him for the rest of the night. When the label owner was done with the story I didn’t see anything wrong with that. I’m pretty much the same way. I’m not agoraphobic; I don’t like being thrown into crowds of people I don’t know. All through my 20’s I’d show up at a party, then say “Hi.” And I’d be gone before someone could finish ½ a beer.
In a nutshell, that’s me. I dig the music, I like the people, but I just don’t dig going out. But this was the wrap-up show for the three-day Golden Voice Anniversary shows. And Eric Leach (Symbol Six) had called me; I think he could feel I was going to flake, so he broke it down:
“How many Sunday shows have you ever gone to?”
“So, you can make it to one.”
“You were starting to be a pussy.”
Now, if this was a movie, I would’ve hung-up in tears, only to be consoled by my wife, Salma Hayek (I can cast my movie however I like). Then we would launch into a scene that wouldn’t make it to the theaters with an NC-17 rating. But this is real life, so I hung and told the wife “I’m going to see Symbol Six on Sunday.” With not even a PG scene to follow.
The first band up was No Control. I compare this type of punk rock to the way the UFC has evolved. I know what you’re thinking: “Mike how in the hell are you going to connect punk rock to the MMA?” Well, here it goes . . . At the beginning of the UFC, everybody had different skills. The Gracies wrestled, and people like Tank Abbott punched, then after a decade or so, everybody had the same skills. Modern L.A. punk is much like this. Most bands sound like the best of Social Distortion and Bad Religion. I’m not knocking them, it’s a decent sound. But it’s a far cry from when I’d go to a show and see Black Flag, Nig Heist, Christian Death, and 45 Grave on the same bill.
Sidekick came on next and sounded, somewhat like Bad Religion.
No Advisory was next and sounded, somewhat like Social Distortion.
In between bands I sold two more copies of my book, LAST ONE TO DIE, to Symbol Six drummer Phil George and buddy Kathy Fox.
Finally, around 10:30 or 11:00 Symbol Six hits the stage. This the first time I’ve seen Symbol Six with the addition of new guitarist Tony (from The Bell-Rays and The Black Widows).
Here’s the thing, the band is amped, I’m amped to see them, but the shit gets a bit fucked from here. Eric Leach is wailing on the vocals, but his mike is turned down so low on the board it sounds like he’s underwater. And as the band struck its first chords the house DJ left his music playing. So, Symbol Six is playing, but the ass-hat leaves Devo’s Mongoloid playing for another minute and a half or so.
So, this is not frustrating enough, then the cabinet of lead guitarist Taz Rudd’s amp starts shorting out. He’s playing his leads, and then there is nothing but a major humming sound throughout the place.
One of the band’s friends is running back and forth trying to figure it out and it gets better, then worse, then better.
Leach was trying to motion to the guy at the control board to turn up the vocals, (mind you, the three bands that went on first sounded fine), but the guy does nothing. I guess he was waiting to turn Devo back on.
I went and saw Rikk Agnew and Pretty Mess here in January. Hudley Flipside promoted the show, and everything is perfect. Whoever promoted this, really fucked over Symbol Six. I’m not one for conspiracies, but damn the band wasn’t even offered Vaseline first.
After their set, I left. All things considered, Symbol Six played the songs off of their EP, and some new stuff, but it was difficult to hear it all. But what was audible was kick-ass.
The funny thing about Weber’s is it’s less than a half a block away from where my dad used to live. So we spent many years skateboarding on the street where Weber’s is located. Brings back all kinds of memories, like the place I had my first “legal” drink.
If you have a chance to see any of these bands, go. You won’t have a chance to sit down, nor will you want to.
All in all, a great show. The PA was wonky, clear view of the bands, and I had fun.
Born Frustrated is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb