Punk is one subculture that will never die, no matter how old the guys who started it get get, and how ridiculous those progenitors look in their old time outfits. In fact, it grows a little all the time. Throw five guys in their 50's (preferably covered in tattoos, maybe sporting with a sliver of spiky pink hair) on a stage, as they did at last night's Youth Brigade show at Yucca Tap Room, and there's bound to be at least 20 guys in their 20's who line up to see them.
In the "Why" column, there's something to be said for the constant excitement of a punk show. If the music wasn't your thing -- and let's face it, these guys play to a really select group -- you could at least entertain yourself by watching or, if brave, engaging, the dangerously energetic folk in the mosh pit.
Plenty of people did last night, and they seemed to be the most in to it. For most of the night, the crowd seemed like a regression line: Those nearest the deafening speakers seemed like they could be high on cocaine and energy drinks while those in the back were barely moving, nearly catatonic. In between, you had the drinkers.
Signs for Budweiser, Miller, and Michelob strewn the walls, but the patrons at Yucca chose to obey only one glowing neon advertisement, that of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I was hard pressed to find anyone indulging in anything but good ol' PBR.
For much of the crowd, wrinkles have replaced the facial areas where bizarre piercings and gauges once were. This brings me to my next point: For a band called "Youth Brigade," They're pretty fucking old. This didn't stop the near geriatrics from blasting blistering riffs, making easy stuff seem hard, and acting like they were a couple of teenage guys playing their very first gig.
For a punk rock show, the crowd was more or less respectful, except for one (well, a few, but one in particular) instance when a fight broke out between an extremely skinny brunette girl and a not-so-skinny-almost-Chris-Farley-type fellow, causing the chick to inform the Youth Brigade, who called anyone who hit a woman a "pussy" and refused to play until everyone stopped fighting.
For their final song, "Sink With Kalifornija," they invited the furiously inebriated crowd up on the stage for a punk rock sing along. The odor was reportedly horrendous.
Honestly, I don't care how many times it happens, people falling down at shows for moshing too hard is downright hilarious. Maybe that's why people still go to these shows after all these years.
Last Night: Youth Brigade, Killroy, The Revenge, and DSC
Better Than: Getting yelled at by your parents with music playing in the background. But only slightly.
Personal Bias: Mohawk Count: 10, QUITE possibly more, Converse Count: 14, even possibly more, Shirtless Drummer Count: A surprisingly low 1 out of 4
Random Fact: The lead singer for Killroy looked like the offspring of Daddy Warbucks and Lou Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Further Listening: If you really want to, there's always Myspace.
By The Way: There was a rather intrusive fellow who kept insisting "Reagan Sucks!" As if our 40th president were still alive. This sentiment was then echoed by Youth Brigade frontman, Shawn Stern.
One More Thing: The Revenge sucked. I could barely stand there for one song.