Symbol Six, The F@gz, Smart Patrol
Poor Kids Mansion
Saturday, March 19, 2011
This was by far one of the coolest shows I’ve ever been to. This was held at the Poor Kids Mansion (http://www.poorkidsradio.com/). It is an incredible three-story mansion, in a part of L.A. that I normally wouldn’t venture to.
One of the flyers said the show starts at 7:30, so I got there a few minutes early, and the street was, like, a series of military bunkers. Barbed wire on every other fence, pit bulls wandering up, and down the block. I drove to the end of the block, to do a u-turn, and when I got to the end, I saw a guy passed out in his truck, I couldn’t tell if he was dead, or just lit up. In the driveway just past the truck-guy, was two “gangstas” with forty-ouncers, and some kind of “hardware” stashed under a sweatshirt. I did my u-turn, and parked on the complete other end of the street.
I got out of the car, locked up, and started up the hill towards the Mansion, about six-feet from the car the above mentioned pit-bull is sitting in the middle of the street, eyes locked on me. Something about the stare of that kind of dog, it drains the manhood out of you, I was trying to figure out how to get up the street without being mauled. I walked a few feet the dog walked a few feet. I stood behind a car, trying to figure out whether to go back to my car or book to the house, just then a little black SUV pulls up, the dog runs for it, I run to the house (yeah, I’m a major wuss). The doors to the SUV open, and it’s two girls, I think to myself, “What an asshole, I’m hiding inside the gate of the Mansion while these two girls are going to get maimed.” But as soon as the doors open the pit-bull is wagging its tail, and jumping up and down. Damn, I didn’t know it was friendly, I’ve seen too many episodes of “Caught On Tape.”
I was told to ask for Phillyp once I got to the place, I ask one big guy who was at the gate, he tells me to go around back.
The amount of property at the Mansion was unbelievable. They could’ve built two more houses. The place overlooks downtown L.A.
I find Phillyp, I introduce myself, and he says “You’re Mike E.!” I was taken completely off-guard, I could only say, “How do you know?” To which he replied “I’ve got the Internet, I’ve seen you around.”
About, twenty minutes, or so later, a girl, named Bird, hands me a cell phone, and says “It’s George Anthony from Battalion of Saints, you should interview him!”
So, I talked to George Anthony.
(Much different than when I tried to interview Keith Morris: “So here’s what’s gonna’ happen…………….Michael U can call me @ xxx-xxx-xxxx & we’ll set up a time & day & U can buy me breakfast or lunch! Be good! Keith.”)
A little while after I talked to George, I got to meet Mike Vallejo from Circle One. And I got to rap with him in-depth about John Macias, the rumors, and facts, etc.
As a fan-boy this is all too cool to me.
Anyway, shortly after meeting Mike, all the bands start arriving, and all the PA’s are set up.
The first band to play is a group called Smart Patrol. The band does really cool Devo covers. The band was good, the only problem was the PA. One minute you would only hear the band, the next minute it would be only static-y vocals.
I felt for the band, because they were good, but the audio was really bad.
On the original bill Scattergood, and The Rikk Agnew Band were scheduled to play. I’m not 100% sure of the details, but it seems that the two bands merged, and formed The F@gz.
This time the band was pretty decent sounding, with Rikk Agnew sitting in on drums (what can’t Rikk play?!), but the feedback was destroying the vocals.
I walked around to the back of the stage to watch Rikk pound the skins, the guy is amazing.
The last band of the night was Symbol Six. If you are one of three people left on the western seaboard that hasn’t seen them, or if you’re one of those whiney “old-school punk rockers,” that hate any band that has aged, or doesn’t do the exact same set-list they did in 1982, . . . well here’s a word of advice” get you shit together, and go see them.
The show started late, somewhere between 9:00 and 9:30, so Symbol Six didn’t go on until 11:00ish.
Within one or two songs the backyard had turned into a full-fledged slam-pit. The stage was only a foot or so high, but it didn’t stop the fifteen or twenty kids from hopping up there, and diving off.
Once Symbol Six torn into the songs from their Posh Boy EP, the place exploded. Watching all the energy of these kids made me want to join the pit, but my old ass refrained.
Of the songs on their latest album, they have, about, four or five of these tracks have that Motorhead-vibe that, most of us came to love on the Ace of Spades album.
Once the kids started slamming they didn’t let up, the whole set was nuts like that. The craziest part of the pit was when Hawaiian-looking guy came stumbling into the pit with a cowboy hat crafted out of a 12-pack box (yeah, a cardboard beer box), and tried to slam. He was spilling his beer everywhere, and when he tried to stage dive he knocked over Eric Leach’s mike stand.
The bass player from their recent West Coast tour, Pat asked him to mellow out. The cowboy started yelling at him, and challenging him to a fight, when Pat wouldn’t take the bait, cowboy threw his beer at him, missing him by ten feet, but hitting Symbol Six guitarist, Mark Conway, mid-song. Mark, unfazed, didn’t miss a note.
My overall assessment, great night!
Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb