Review: Punk Covers Night at the VFW with Total Combined Weight

June 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been surprised that show reviews are some of the most popular posts on this blog. I don’t often read them on other sites–if I went to a show, I know what I think of it, and if I didn’t go, I’ll just be bummed to hear what I missed.

I was b.s.ing with somebody last night, who I think was Tyson Ballew, and told him that, and he responded, “It’s nostalgia. People love nostalgia.”

How appropriate to have that conversation at a night of punk covers, then, eh?

To close out their VFW residency, Total Combined Weight hosted a covers show. Petunia supposedly did Bad Religion (though I only caught Atlantic City, and am pretty sure the Boss is not in Bad Religion), the Juveniles did Descendents, Bird’s Mile Home played some Minutemen ‘n stuff, and TCW did Minor Threat’s complete discography.

Everybody played their source material swimmingly well, but I’d say the giant collective boner in the room was for Minor Threat. Funny how such minimalist, raw noise has such power almost 30 years after it was created, especially when you cram a few dozen people who know every word and riff into a room and launch into a blistering rendition of the entire discography.

On the surface, it’s funny to see so many drunk people absolutely stoked to belt out lyrics about straightedge, but Minor Threat’s music still resonates because it perfectly embodies feeling angry, discombobulated– out of step, if you will. Total Combined Weight’s set brought me back to being 15, pressing play on the new CD I bought because it was on sale and hearing the sonic expression of exactly how much pent-up energy and hormones and fire I had in me. To hear it crushed against sweaty, frantic friends all going through the same moment was…pretty special.

So I’m bruised and my throat is hoarse. I apologize if I punched anyone in the dick. Thank you, Total Combined Weight, for bringing me a new appreciation of one of my favorite bands.

Now then: enough of this nostalgia crap and singing along with the oldies. Onward.

ABOVE: Photos by Tine Ahlin, who has an honest-to-God Polaroid camera, so Tim had to take a picture of it with his Iphone to get it on the internet. And it looks all artsy and shit. Eat it, Instagram!

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