Orlando, Fl • Oct. 6, 2006
It was another way early show downtown at Orlando’s The Social. Strike Anywhere headlining, with three support bands filling in the time until. By the time I strolled in at just before 7pm, the second opener was already finishing up. The club was body to body. Looks like the usual suspects have filled the place- same faces I see show after show… makes it feel like a “scene.”
By the time Bane hit the stage, the bodies were piling atop of one another- and not always in the most loving fashion. Vocalist Aaron Bedard tried to tone down the negative pit energy by telling the crowd to stop beating the shit out of each other, “We don’t want small dudes to feel like they’re gonna get their asses kicked if they come to our shows.” A lone drunken heckler reacts with the terribly original (said with wicked sarcasm) cry of “Pussy!”
Bedard stopped the music and the dialogue went something like this:
(Heckler) Go change your tampon.
(Aaron) What did you say to me? Come up here. (To the crowd) Let him speak, I want to hear what he has to say.
(Heckler) Shut up and play.
(Aaron) (to security) Oh, I think it’s time for this guy to leave… Yeah, take him out of here.
Security escorted the guy out of the now cheering crowd, and my already increasing appreciation for Bane’s Boston brand of hardcore elevated into a genuine liking of this band!
Backing their latest Fat Wreck release, Dead FM, Strike Anywhere are a punk band for the politically aware. Like their granddads in The Clash, they use the stage as a catalyst for social awareness. Before they played, a lone representative from the Orlando chapter of Food Not Bombs stepped out to talk about what they do (feed the homeless, amongst other things) and how people can volunteer their time. Strike Anywhere vocalist Thomas Barnett stood sidestage nodding, cheering and pointing people to the organization’s table set up near the band’s merch.
When Barnett and co. took to the stage themselves, the audience turned into a swirling, crawling, screaming mass of youth. Barnett’s long, blond dreads seemed to float on the uplift of his ever moving body as he led the band through an sharp edged set of politi-punk. Sneakers flew past my face as the crowd managed to maneuver the space between the bar and the stage into an impressive pool for crowd surfing. The band owns the stage with such command, it’s a wonder why they’re still playing small clubs.
It’s positive punk, less about anarchy and more about community. It’s just too bad that their aggressive sound also attracts a large contingent of dickheads who miss the message and just want to go to a show and kick some ass. Hardcore shows will always have the asshole factor and it’s a shame because one asshole can totally ruin an otherwise great night of music.