with Against All Authority and Welt
The Sapphire Supper Club, Orlando, FL • October 15, 2000
Against All Authority taught me a lesson: don’t expect too much out of bands. Don’t get me wrong, all was not lost, but AAA simply did not live up to my expectations.
I arrived at Sapphire about halfway into Welt’s set. I wasn’t too familiar with Welt, which maybe was a good thing. They played straight-up punk rock that wasn’t really fast and wasn’t really slow. It was just kind of there. No one really seemed into it. The lead singer kind of sounded like Mike Ness, which was entertaining.
Most of the kids there were anxiously waiting for AAA. While they are not one of my favorites, I think AAA has an interesting and unique sound. However, the brilliance of their studio albums was not recreated live. There was little or no talk as AAA launched into a set that sounded like one fast, furious, jumbled mess. I had trouble distinguishing from one song to the next. I realize that it is not all the band’s fault — the vocals weren’t loud enough, and the poor, lone trombone player looked like he was fighting to stay afloat. The band maintained bland, expressionless faces as they churned out aggressive punk rock with trombone riffs occasionally heard over it. The audience was looking for something to run around to and got what they wanted with AAA. Sweaty kids happily climbed up and jumped off the stage while even sweatier skinheads pushed each other around up front. There was nothing wrong with the energy level, but I was disappointed at the showmanship and quality of AAA.
The real powerhouse of this show was 7 Seconds. Experience really helped out this band, which has been around for quite some time. I would have been happy watching them all night. The lead singer really knew how to combine talk and great music to work the crowd into a frenzy. 7 Seconds easily combines hardcore with some pop-punk layering to create music that is rebellious but still grown-up. It really got to me and made me think. Not surprisingly, their set sounded exactly like their new live album. After lots of yelling about unity and the like, 7 Seconds wrapped up an awesome set. It’s too bad about AAA, but, hey, you can’t win them all.