Saturday, February 09, 2008

D4 @ Club 770

I'm going to take a brief detour from the book I'm writing on my vacation to Israel to tell the story of a Friday night on campus. As I previously posted I was frickin' stoked to see this band. I might have been a bit off on the math - it was more like five and a half years since I'd last seen D4. Regardless, once I'd read on Punknews.Org that they were playing a one-off in Madison there was simply no way I would miss this. Twice before I had gone over to Club 770 in Union South to see them, in 2002 and 2003 I believe. At the time I was still in college, resisting the inexorable pull to graduate. Both times I more or less attended the show solo. The first time I had convinced my friend Missy to come, since no one else could be persuaded. She brought along a date whose name I doubt I ever bothered to learn. What I do recall was his predilection for country music, most definitely not in line with the straight-up punk slated for that Sunday night. I don't think they stayed past the first of the opening (and admittedly shitty) local punk bands. I recall Missy coming up to me and saying they were leaving, and if I wanted a ride back to my apartment I'd have to go with 'em. I declined, of course, and was treated to one of the better shows I can recall. Yeah, I had to walk back by my lonesome the mile and a half to my off-campus apartment, and I think it was late winter, but it was worth it.

The second time the Dillinger Four came to Madison, I was living a bit closer to campus. I had convinced my roommate Joe to come with, since he wasn't doing anything else that night. Well, I waited for a couple of hours for him but he didn't come home from work that night. I finally got him on the phone and he informed me that he was going to hang out with his girlfriend instead. His choice, but a little heads-up would have been nice. Anyway, the show was killer, and I got to talk with the band afterwards. It topped the previous year's show by far, and cemented D4's status as my favorite punk band. There was a bit of lingering controversy, however. Joe and his girlfriend Erin accused me of pouring wine on Joe's bed after I got back from the show. I'll admit I was pissed at the dude before the show, but afterwards I was blissed out - I went back to my room and played Midwestern Songs of the Americas, Versus God and "Situationist Comedy" until the wee hours.Now you've got the backstory, here's the newest chapter. I made my way up to Madison Friday evening after having dinner with my parents. This time I knew that I was going by myself. I parked and made my way over to the Union. Even though I graduated long ago, I still don't feel too old to go to the Union. Part of it is that I received a lifetime membership upon graduation as a gift from my parents - one that just keeps on giving. This was going to be a night of reliving the past. Much like the time I saw the Lawrence Arms, I got to look back from 27 to 18. The memories have dulled with age (and adult beverages) but in the right situations they come back, clear as day.

The first band is a local punk act called The Gusto. I missed the first part of their set, but what I heard I enjoyed. As it turns out this band is made up of several members of a band called Koji, who played the Madison all-ages scene way back when I was in high school. I remember seeing them play multiple times along with Introversion, the band my high school friends were in. I'm happy to see they're still around, doing what it is they love to do. Believe me, there's not a whole lot of money in being a punk band. The second band was called Garrison Killer, and while it wasn't exactly my thing they got a decent response from the crowd. The crowd, by the way, was young! You would expect as much from an all-ages show on the UW campus, but some of these damn kids just amaze me. I realize that I wasn't around in '77 with the Clash and the Pistols, but these ones were even born when Op Ivy was around! (Yeah, I didn't exactly get into Op Ivy until I was 17 either - it wasn't like my nine-year old self was jumping around at 924 Gilman)

The next two bands were hardcore bands, a genre that doesn't hold any appeal for me. It was interesting to see some of the hardcore fans, however. The lead singer of the first band, In Defence had a bit of a temper flare-up about five songs into the set and stormed off for a bit. There were about 30 people up front that made up a little pit, and they managed to get a few people up - I've never been one to crowd-surf, but with that few of people there weren't as many people crashing to the floor as I would have imagined. The last opening band was Get Rad!, out of Milwaukee. Again, not really my thing. What was nice was I ran into a couple of guys that I knew - Kevin, who works for E Eugene during the landscaping season, and Dave, the younger brother of one of my high-school friends. I spoke with them while we waited for D4 to come on stage. Both Kevin and Dave decided they wanted to get right up front. I kept a bit off to the side - I'm getting a bit too old for the pit!D4 hit hard and heavy. The crowd went nuts. Even from my position off to side I was still knocked around a good deal. I even got a shoe to the neck as someone came tumbling down after crowd-surfing. The band flew through songs I've been singing along to for years. It was magic. There were so many things I remember, funny banter, little explanations of songs, and a faux smack-down of In Defence - Paddy indicated that the lead singer was doing cocaine and telling racist jokes backstage, not a very straight edge thing to do. He also asked who had been to their last show and I got to raise my hand with pride - take that you damn kids! I absolutely loved it. I knew every song and sang along with every line. The hour or so they played just flew by, and at the end of the show I was ten years younger in spirit, if not in body. It's why I still listen to punk. No matter how old I get, and no matter where my wandering musical tastes take me, I don't believe anything will ever be able to replace that feeling.


Post a Comment

<< Home