Face to Face
with The Attack
The Social; Orlando, FL • August 7, 2015
A band performing an album from start to finish live can be either a super cool, or mad frustrating experience depending on both the album in question, and the degree in level of fandom. When it comes to Face to Face, and yours truly, hearing their 1994 record Big Choice in full was a welcome proposition. It was my introduction to the California punk band as a teenager and remains my favorite release of theirs. So when they announced a residency at The Social for their “Triple Crown” shows (3 nights, 3 albums), which night to attend was a no-brainer.
The Attack, a local band long overdue for a breakout, opened up all three nights. They play Sick of it All- style punk and they play it like Ronda Rusey’s abs — hard and tight. The band has got a new album called On Condition coming out on Paper & Plastick Records later this year and if its first single “Four of a Kind” is any indication, this could be the one that gets these guys top billing. For now, though, they appeared to be more than happy to be warming up the near-capacity crowd for Face to Face.
The room quickly squeezed tight as the headliners filed onto the narrow stage, a mere sweating distance from those in the pit. Beers were spilled, air pounding fists made accidental contact with strange’s’ body parts, and at least one stage diver was kicked out — and that was all before the third song. Veteran punk rock fans are no joke — they may be old enough to need a babysitter to watch their kids, but when these fans decide to spend a night at the punk rock show, they’re not messing around.
As advertised, the night’s featured setlist was Big Choice so the pace was set to breakneck from the opening notes of “Struggle,” with only a breather being taken when a bassist Scott Shiflett needed to change out a cable.
“I think I’ve given all you old fucks a sufficient amount of time to catch your breath,” Frontman Trever Keith joked before adding, “I include myself in that ‘old fucks’ comment, so don’t take it personally.”
They even played the album’s “bonus tracks” of “Disconnected,” which was introduced comically by Keith in a pushy know-it-all record exec voice. The story is, as Keith summarized for the crowd, the label insisted the band’s debut album’s “hit” song also appear on the second album. The compromise, for the band, was that a second bonus track — a cover of Descendents’ “Bikeage” — was also included. Predictably, the already amped up audience lost their minds for these extra tracks.
Like Social Distortion, or Bad Religion, Face to Face are California punk royalty and the fact that they included Orlando on their mini “Triple Crown Tour” makes me wanna give them a great big hug… or maybe just an enthusiastic high five, they do look rather sweaty.
Face to Face: facetofacemusic.com