I’ve missed out on seeing D.R.I a couple of times now. I’ve always wanted to go but something else always seems to come up. I finally got to see these guys last night and now I’m regretting ever missing one of their shows.
D.R.I, standing for Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, is a legendary punk band from Texas. They have been around for freaking ever (Their first release was in 1983… before I was even a thought). That being said, this was obviously not their first tour. They’ve done this for 20+ years and for all 20+ years, they have been killing it.
Let’s first talk about the fact that Kurt Brecht, the singer of D.R.I is still working the merch table. I don’t mean that he hangs out around the merch table before and after the show because, let’s be honest, everyone does that to “get to know” their fans. No, Kurt IS the merch guy. A friend that went to the show with me wanted to get some merch so he skipped out on the last two songs only to find out he was unable to buy anything until Kurt was back there because he was in charge of all things credit cards. This sounds small and insignificant but as a kid growing up and listening to bands like D.R.I, this is everything. It breaks down all barriers between rockstar and fan. It’s the reason I love what I do and keep on going to all of these shows.
Last night was the first night of a two week tour with no breaks. These guys are 50+ and playing 14 days of straight shows. I am a booking agent and book tours across the country for younger bands that are trying to get out there. Those bands can barely handle a four day grind, let along a 14 day grind. It’s not just that it’s a 14 day grind, that would be relatively easy if you are playing slow and calming acoustic music. These guys aren’t. These guys are going balls to the wall punk and never slowing down once during their hour and fifteen minute set. It made me tired just thinking about it. Hell, I’m exhausted after three days of straight shows (two more to go on this bender) and I’m not even playing.
The crowd was insane from the beginning of In Defence’s set all the way to the bitter end of D.R.I’s set. There was some sort of thing resembling a circle pit at all times. There were people falling, people flying, people just going crazy. I assumed my usually position on the outskirts of the pit with my arms crossed and just took it all in. I am not typically one to shy away from a pit, but last night was a bit too intense for me. People were still helping out people who had fallen down (you’re family in a pit no matter what genre) but the rate of people falling down on the hard concrete floor was immeasurable. It wasn’t that people were being too rough, it was more the spilled beer on the ground and just the amount of bodies going every which direction at all times. It was a recipe for disaster.
Out of all of the shows I have been to since I’ve started this blog, this show had the most injuries. It also had some of the nicest and most protective people at it. There were people walking past me with their noses covered up with their hands but you could still see the blood streaming down their arms. People would fall on the ground and just lay there until they were plucked up by someone who was dancing past them. It would take these people a minute or two to figure out what was going on but before you knew it, you lost them in the pit again. Dumb? Maybe. I’m sure going back into a pit after getting a concussion is not the smartest idea but that’s what everyone did last night and to be honest… (mom and dad don’t read this) I have done this plenty of times. Hey, they say falling asleep after getting a concussion is bad, being in a pit like this, there’s no way you’re falling asleep.
The music sounded just the way I wanted it to. The songs were fast and dirty. They made you feel something, I don’t know what I felt, but I definitely felt something. It sounded like the CDs I grew up obsessing over only with more energy. There were really no “face melting” solos but you don’t need that at a show like this. It doesn’t fit. What does fit are one to two minute long songs with simple lyrics that you can relate to or that bring you back to your childhood. One to two minutes of pain or anticipation of pain (depending if you’re in the pit or on surrounding the pit) followed by a quick break so you can catch your breath. That’s exactly what we got during all of D.R.I’s set.
Now that I’ve talked your ear off about D.R.I, let me at least touch on In Defence, one of the opening bands.
I have seen these guys multiple times now. They are from the Twin Cities but have been touring recently and it seems that they haven’t really been playing out as much as they used to. Good god did they nail last night’s show. They fit the line-up perfectly, they were full of energy like always and they were entertaining. In Defence has songs about everything from pizza to tacos to star wars to dungeons and dragons to a refrigerator that eats people. I know that makes them sound like a joke, but they aren’t. They are all great musicians and truly are talented. Having funny songs just makes me smile and love them that much more.
The other great part of In Defence? I saw Ben Crew, the singer, in the pit during D.R.I’s set more than once. (I think I saw the other guys too but Ben was directly in my line of vision) This is one of the main reasons the Twin Cities music scene is so great. People supporting people. Local bands supporting local bands. Touring bands supporting local bands. Touring bands supporting touring bands. It’s cliche and I mention this in almost every blog but, the music scene here is a family. One big happy, sweaty, clusterfuck of a family.
I can be very biased when it comes to seeing bands live. All bias aside, D.R.I is a legendary band with a great live show. If you ever get a chance to go see them live, take it. I know I say it all the time, but I mean it this time… You will not regret it!
Venue: Triple Rock Social Club
Sausage Fest Meter- 18 out of 10
Successful Stage Divers- 3
Unsuccessful Stage Divers- Too many to count
Shirtless men in the pit- 8
Black Eyes- 4
Broken Bones- 3 bloody noses (I can only assume they were broken due to the amount of blood)
Concussions- Can you even put a number on this? There were people who obviously got knocked the hell out a couple of times but they kept going back into the pit
Bags of Ice Given Out By The Bartender (to be used as ice packs)- 6
Found in the Pit- 1 phone, various hats and shoes