Three freeways and a massive storm didn’t keep me away from the M15 Concert Bar and Grill last Saturday evening for a line up that was sure to please. As I strolled up to the ticket window something slightly disturbing caught my eye. There before me hung huge signs that stated “No moshing”…”NO moshing” …”NO MOSHING!!” Hey, was I at a punk show or what? I passed through the doors and bellied up to the bar for my first cranberry juice. (Don’t go hatin’ on me…I needed to drive home safely afterwards, sheesh!) Goons Army was up, and Sergeant Bloodfest was reiterating what the signs had told me previously. “Sorry everyone, no moshing or slamming…but you can give us some jazz hands!” What? Punks performing an impromptu musical theater number in response to the bands we loved? This is preposterous! Images of Robin Williams in Bird Cage danced in my head with his lisping voice repeating the phrase “Fosse, Fosse, Fosse!” Is this what punks are reduced to these days?
The lineup continued with bands like The Walking Toxins, Crow Face 6, Prost, The Final Upset, D.I, and Agent Orange. The bands didn’t hold back an iota, but the pit had no choice. Anyone that has been to one show or a thousand knows that the energy of the pit feeds the performances. It’s a symbiotic relationship between band and pit. With these restrictions, the audience is trapped in a catatonic stance just waiting to burst. When special guest Bonnie Buitrago from Nashville Pussy took to the stage, everything went up yet another notch. She was incredible, and cranked it out with D.I during their set. Everyone felt like showing the love but couldn’t. Agent Orange ended the night with an equally amazing set. As I scanned the crowd, you could feel the energy bubbling to the surface. A dude in front of me was grappling to settle down his two friends on either side of him. Folks were looking around to see if anyone else was gonna pop!
But, yeah, we live in Southern California, the land of sue happy people. To that I say, make everyone sign a waiver. What’s the worst that can happen, a few stitches and maybe a concussion, right? Venues need to take care of business so those that drive and pay can enjoy the bands with no restrictions. Be that as it may, it was an excellent show, and I thank all the bands for giving us such a great night.
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