Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Live review: GBH

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 3:18 PM

GBH w/ Outernational

Tremont Music Hall

July 27, 2010

The Deal: A good old fashioned punk rock show at Tremont with Antiseen, Outernational and GBH. Emphasis on old. It was kind of weird and funny to see 40 and 50 year-old weathered punks in the crowd and on stage. Re-scheduled show from June 2.

The Good: Outernational was a pleasant surprise. The band from New York City often fused punk, ska and rockabilly to form a versatile sequence of songs that kept the audience excited and moving their feet, arms, head, etc. I enjoyed the performance of lead man Miles Solay — dressed head to toe in black leather — looking and at times sounding like Joe Strummer from The Clash.

He was charismatic in playing his role of a punk lead singer — jumping all over the stage, contorting his body and constantly changing the tone of his voice to emphasize his wide array of lyrics which ranged from political, “Blood on the Streets”, to cheerful and cultural, “Que Queremos?”

Guitarist Leo Mintek was solid with his quirky, feel good riffs that flowed well with Solay’s vocals. It was diverse punk music that you could dance, not slam dance, to.

And then out came the veterans. No flash, no pizzazz, no small talk, plenty of attitude. That’s what I want in my punk rock stars, and the blokes from Birmingham, England, certainly delivered on that. They came up on stage and lit into an hour-plus long set with their usual brand of accelerated and aggressive English punk rock.

Front man Colin Abrahall was surprisingly sprite for someone who’s been living the punk lifestyle for so long. He was almost performing acrobatic maneuvers ascending towards the ceiling while curling his back and kicking up his legs all while twirling his red microphone stand. It was fun to see him interact with the crowd shoving the mic into fan’s faces to let them sing along and actually taking a stage dive at one point.

The “oldies but goodies” display was a high point with their punk rock anthem “Give Me Fire” from 1982, along with electrically charged versions of “Sick Boy” and “White Riot”. The latter was a testament to their love and appreciation for Joe Strummer who died eight years ago.

For a bunch of English punks, they were also very nice and humble. Abrahall always said “thank you very much” after every other song, and he and his drummer Scott Preece were talking to a multitude of people before the show.

The Bad: Charlotte's own Antiseen. They weren’t bad per se, they just didn’t perform to the level of Outernational and GBH. I wasn’t impressed with lead singer Jeff Clayton's growling of lyrics no one could understand. It was humorous when he smashed a small washboard over his face and then had blood protruding downward. He was a trying a bit too hard for showmanship. The instrument playing was average.

The Verdict: Good overall show for punk fans young and old alike. I feel like Outernational were as good as GBH, but in a different way. The two bands share the kudos for this show.

Setlist

101 Ways to Kill a Rat

Ha Ha

Falling Down

Diplo

Freak

Time Bomb

Gunned Down

Unique

Prayer

Maniac

Drugs

Kids Get Down

Crush ‘em

Hunted

Perfume and Piss

Give Me Fire

Sick Boy

Womb

City Baby

Revenge

Hey Keefe

No Survivors

Hecro

Knife

Moonshine

White Riot

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