by GE 138
I was horribly late to this gig. I wanted to get there early to Interview Unfair Fight but as I was adjusting my rear view mirror to back out of my driveway it fell off. The mirror not the driveway. I took that as a sign that I should stay my ass at home but the Gods be damned because there was no way I was missing this gig - nope! So after trying and failing to reattach the rear view mirror with all 3,722 different types of adhesive I have lying around my house, I finally gave in and headed to Pep Boys where I found a fix it kit for just such a dilemma I was in. A half hour after that I was finally on my way to Yayo.
I was walking up to the door when Brent from the Fat Dukes Of Fuck greeted me in the parking lot with a nice warm Bud Light. I gladly took it from him and we stood around for a bit chit chatting and catching up. Tony Batz from the Civilians came up to us and joined in on the fun, and then we saw N.J. Pete from this evening's honorees Unfair Fight standing with his beautiful girl Cassie, so we all wandered over there to make the assemblage of Local band members grow by one. There was a lot of people here tonight, and a butt load of kids running around. And by kids I mean kids 10 and under. They were all running around and playing wildly like little kids do. Cool. I could hear the Quitters fucking shit up inside, but I was too busy chillaxing with my Friends and having fun to tear myself away to watch the band play. I suck I know.
I heard the next band S.M.D. starting to warm up. Pete said they were some thrasher band from Whittier, CA. I was like WTF? Really? And he said 'Yup!' and then I headed inside. They were pretty scary looking but they all had huge grins on their faces. Drunk? Drugged? Both? hahaha Fuck yeah! If you're gonna rage you gotta be high to do it. ;-) So S.M.D. starts up and it's just BLAAAAHHHHHHRRRRRGGGHHHHH with the drummer setting a blistering pace that was running right alongside the fast and furious guitar riffing being shot across the room by the man behind the red SG. The bass player is just a mass of hair and thunderous sounds coming from his cabinet and the singer is just machine gunning grunts and words and sounds and screams at a mind bowing pace, making the main veins in his head surge and throb and appear ready to explode. He looked like the kind of guy you'd see walking the yard in Chino or Pelican Bay, and his maniacal stage presence just made him more intimidating. The bands sound reminded me of backyard parties in Huntington Park back in 1988 when bands like Cryptic Slaughter and Bloodcum ruled the ghetto streets, and I was digging the holy shit out of these guys. S.M.D. were fucking shit up big time, and it was great to watch.
Unlike 1988 though, there was no raging circle pits full of Punx and Hessians going on while S.M.D. played, and whether that was because of the Singer scaring everyone or from no one being familiar with their material is subject to debate. Don't get me wrong, people were moving, but they were doing it in place, thrashing and head banging while kind of standing around still. It seemed like everybody was just waiting for someone to start a pit up, but nobody did. S.M.D. were raising Hell and looking like they were having fun doing it. I couldn't stop watching the drummer doing his insanely fast drum fills and hummingbird tap-tap-tapping on his snare drum. I was envious. I used to be able to play like that. :-( The bass player broke a string midway through the set, and I took the opportunity to head outside and grab a smoke. I got caught up talking to Xtal from the Seriouslys about her new drummer, and before I knew it I heard S.M.D. saying their good nights and finishing up their set. Booooo. Still, the half a set that I saw the band play made me a fan of S.M.D. and I'm looking forward to seeing them again.
And then it was time for... Unfair Fight. The Stars of the evening. The buzz was in the air. You knew something crazy was going to happen because of the stage set up and the band's stage attire. Flanking both sides of the small stage area at Yayo were TV sets turned on to Channel Zero and showing nothing but white noise snow, their glass lenses tagged with stenciled, spray painted sloganeering propaganda like SLEEP, CONSUME, BREED and THIS IS YOUR GOD. Their presence gave an eerie glow to everything around them. It was a good visual. The crowd was starting to crawl around a bit, getting antsy and waiting for the band to play. There was a bit of a pause for some reason, and the band members stood around and posed for pictures with Friends and Family and idly chatted with everyone. So the band members finally take their respective places, in front of and behind their respective instruments, all of them wearing plastic Haz Mat suits that were spray paint stenciled with the bands logo, except for Dan, who was looking like a demented Vegas Lounge singer or some sort of Minister maybe, and he stands on top of this TV, and he starts addressing the crowd, saying these crazy strung together words that were part pep talk, part derogatory inflammation, and the place is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Everyone, the little kids, the Punx, the other band members, Friends, Family and Fans, they're all hanging onto every word, and then Dan just stops, and the band launches into the opening song off their new release, a song called In A Room Full Of Lunatics, and it's like a bomb went off - not because of the destructiveness that comes with a bomb explosion, but more like the Power that was just displayed. Unfair Fight had just fucking nailed it, like no band I've seen do it in a long time. An amazing opening that made all the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
After that impressive opening, Unfair Fight proceed to play the rest of the songs off their latest release, We Are The Dead, and the crowd was just eating it up. Some people were thrashing about mildly, but most annoyingly done were the people standing around taking crappy cell phone videos that no one will ever see or even understand if they do. Also, the photographer from that other 'Punk' website here in town always makes me laugh with his professional veering and posturing for position. You're a pro Photographer dude - we get it. Quit your day job and just start shooting for Rolling Stone now. I was standing up on the bench to take pictures, off to the side of the crowd, in a good vantage point that I had staked out before the band even started playing, not bothering anybody, but for some reason, my camera wasn't working properly so I had to stop trying to take photos and instead just stood around and watched the show. And what a show it was. Dan was on fire, running around all over the place, pushing the microphone in everyone's personal space and getting them to participate, whether they wanted to or not, and he easily sprang around and on top of anything to get a rise/reaction out of the crowd. Chris's guitar work was exemplary, of course, and Pete's furious drum style works well with Liz's explosive style of bass playing. Together they're a formidable rhythm section. Yeah, the band was just set to kill tonight and slaying everything in the place, and like a nitro drag racer it was too short and too fast, but powerful and explosive in it's nature. Their set was over waaaaayyyy too soon, and once it ended everyone in the place was just beaming after what they had just witnessed. Fantastic set from Unfair Fight. The highlight of their set for me, besides that sick ass opening blast of fury, was when Dan addressed all of the kids in the room, and his kids especially, telling them to go crazy and jump around like they did when they were at home, and once the band started the next song that's exactly what they did! They started dancing around and spazzing out and screaming and running into each other and whatnot, and they were doing it all with the most beautiful, happy smiles on their faces - it was amazing to see, and a perfect summation of what tonight's Unfair Fight gig was all about - the enjoyment of Music and the response it causes. This was truly an Epic night for the band, and I'm Proud I was there to help them celebrate their latest, greatest release. Kudos you guys! I'm already looking forward to the next one. <3