The Queers w/ The Manges, Bass Amp & Dan-O, and The Haddonfields Fubar (Lounge side) January 6, 2013
Pop-punk is not dead, and not just because of that stupid patch that Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory started showing off on tour last year - this show was a hell of a goofy fun time. Some of St. Louis' drunkest punks showed up to Fubar on a mission to pogo, stumble, and drink the place dry.
Upon arriving at Fubar, I realized there was a metal fest going on on the other part of the venue. This totally separate event included a ton of bands: Fister, Bastard (the ex-members of Harkonin one, not the Japanese hardcore band), Lords of the Drunken Pirate Crew (who I only mention because they were all in full Jack Sparrow regalia...the whole night) and a bunch of others. I bring this up because of the tiny shred of bad blood that historically exists between punks and metalheads. As I sat around waiting for the Queers show to begin, I kept secretly hoping the long hairs would burst in at any second and beat down the green hairs, but I kind of like to watch the world burn.
As this somewhat-antiquated "that punk shit belongs on mars, man" sentiment echoed through my brain, I looked around and noticed how full the room had gotten before the first band played. This was a well-attended event by every comic book stereotype depiction of rock & roll subculture: Old leather jacket punks, scrawny young Tumblr kids and drunk punk lunatics were all well-represented. I looked at the line-up and thought "Cool, but not real diverse." It makes sense that all the colored-hair folks would show up when every band on the bill is pretty Ramones-derivative, but I suppose one could argue that every punk band is. The by-the-numbers line-up didn't take away from the show at all, but still a part of me kind of wished this show could have just been merged with the neighboring metal one just to let the bloodbath in my imagination actually ensue.
Flash to 8:15 (a punk show in St. Louis, starting on time? What is this sorcery?): I dodged arms and about-to-spill-over beer cups, making my way to the front of the lounge as the Haddonfields started the night off. The locals played a great, tight set of pop-punk that fit in perfectly at this show - it was almost as if the band members had kidnapped the usual crowd and drunk, chaotic atmosphere of a night at Lemmon's and turned it loose inside of Fubar. The Haddonfields' set was tight and concise and served well to set up the "Who gives a shit? Let's party!" mood that would permeate the rest the of the night.
Bass Amp & Dano took the stage next with their All-American brand of horse-power pop. The band played some amount of "Hard to tell if it's ironic or not" songs about America, guns, dislike of some lady named Katie, and some other barbecue talk, all set in true punk fashion to four power chords. They did close up shop with a cover of "Achy-Breaky Heart," done in sped-up punk style, hearkening back to the nineties when it seems like every punk band did stuff like that.
Next up were The Manges, from Italy. This was when people finally started going off and having fun -- Italy started invading the "activate the pit" part of everyone's brain. By the 3rd song the floor was covered in beer and everyone was jumping around and/or tripping over each other, in a manner that was thoroughly enjoyable to watch. Notes: The members of the Manges all wore matching sailor t-shirts. Maybe Mussolini mockery; maybe they all really dig Popeye - hard to say. They finished up after a half hour or so.
A little before 11:00 pm, The Queers started fast and strong, playing 3-6 songs at a time that just whizzed by -- not in an I-wasn't-paying-attention way, but more in a "FUCK, these songs are short, fast, and catchy as hell" manner. The setlist comprised a ton of songs form their whole catalog (dating all the way back to the early 80s) and everybody went nuts and got sweaty at one another for 40 minutes or so. A good amount of the metalheads came rushing over from the neighboring show to catch this set too, but my morbid desire for bloodshed was not satiated.
I was beyond excited when they played the following covers, among the billion other songs Joe Queer belted out so quickly: "Murder In The Brady House" by Screeching Weasel, "My Old Man's A Fatso" by The Angry Samoans, and "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" by The Ramones. Joe didn't have much of anything to say between songs other than, essentially "We have nothing to say, so we play more songs" and "Bass amp is my friend!" Clearly the Queers prefer to let the music do their talking for them - you'll get no complaints from me about that.
Stefanie (a hot bartender at Fubar that brought me a free soda) told me to say that she's a hot bartender at Fubar who gave me a free soda. I follow directions well when free carbonated beverages are on the line, and so it has been done.