What an insane way to kick off December 2017. We walked in to Alex’s Bar having missed Let Rage (Sorry Let Rage, but we had to introduce our out-of-town friends to Joe Jost’s for a special – an egg and a schooner) and said hi to Alex. But I was immediately distracted and had to cut our conversation short and ask, “Who the fuck is this?” Alex replied, “That’s Dan O’Mahony’s band, Shiners Club.”
With that info, I wedged my way up through the already crowded venue to the front to get some shots. Shiners Club is intense and heavy. It’s hardcore the way it should still be played in 2017. There are too many gutless bands trying to sound like the next big thing and it’s boring. Shiners Club restored my faith in punk rock on this night. Bass, drums, guitar, and vocals with no bullshit and no pretense. It’s just in your face, hard driving punk rock. I can’t wait to see this band again.
Fireburn was next and I’ll admit right now that I was skeptical. The only thing I knew about them was that some of the guys used to be in other bands like Danzig and Bad Brains. Usually I’m okay with that. If you were in a band I liked and you have a new band, I’m curious. But, for some reason these guys had me doubting… until they took the stage. Their set was just about the most intense fifteen minutes of music I’ve ever seen. They even threw a reggae song in the middle as a breather (as much for the crowd as the band) and didn’t lose a drop of momentum. Israel Joseph I, the singer, was engaging and charismatic. He was upfront and personal with the crowd and I could hear his history with the Bad Brains coming through on a few songs. Musically, this band is amazing; fast, hard, tight and on top of it. They have a new EP out that you should check out.
To tell you the truth, I felt bad for Dag Nasty having to follow Shiners Club and Fireburn. Those bands had raised the intensity in the room so high that I thought Dag Nasty would have a tough time maintaining it. But they didn’t have a problem! Hitting the stage with their original singer Shawn Brown, they opened with “Values Here,” which began the crowd sing-a-long that lasted the entire night. They played a great, career spanning set, with a few new ones sprinkled in. They even snuck in a Swiz (Shawn Brow’s post Dag band) song and a Minor Threat song too. I was reading something online which said these songs were ‘covers’, but are they? Shawn was in Swiz and Brian Baker was in Minor Threat. You decide. I don’t care what you call them, I’m just happy I saw and heard them.
͞Pop-punk or Melodic Hardcore, bands of today attempt play a neutered version of what Dag Nasty was doing in th͚e 80s and continue to do today. Respect your elders (or peers). Dag rules.