Agent Orange, China Creeps, Life Against Death, Plus Perfect
The Cobalt, Sun Feb 22nd
It’s not very hard to be the hot ticket on a Sunday night, and when Agent Orange was in town what would you rather be doing? Watching some ‘Simpsons’? No cartoon in the world can compare to going to a show. Not even one of those sexy cartoons.
The night began with Plus Perfect who boasts Jesse Gander, (of producing fame) on bass and some vocals, who was joined by three other rapscallions that proceeded to bring an upbeat and happy beginning to my night. After a beer or two one might have been inclined to shake their ass on the dance floor to these infectiously poppy tunes, but in some circles dancing is forbidden before 10pm. Is this the first band in the world where the bassist is the most famous member of the band? Maybe Primus. For the record, Plus Perfect sounds nothing like Primus.
Then in what would be the craziest genre switch that I’ve seen at a show in ages, Life Against Death took the stage. From pop punk to thrash metal! This is something you don’t see at shows anymore these days. It seems that bills are all made up of bands that sound alike, and I’m all about some variety in my nightly show. Life Against Death had a new face on bass, and he’d apparently learned all the songs in two weeks. It would seem that DD Dumper was dumped, but more likely that his bass duties in SNFU will be taking up a lot of his time. Life Against Death was amazing as always with vocalist Mya Mayhem belting it out with sheer ease. The guy behind me yelled out how ‘savage’ she was, and I couldn’t help but agree. Go see this band, end of story.
China Creeps took to the stage next and they looked sloppy, but they didn’t sound it! The singer stumbled and knocked over some cymbals, and bassist Neil yelled obscenities at the crowd, telling them they danced like pussies. No one disagreed, or stopped for that matter. When the Creeps began playing their song ‘Skate or Die’ the roadie came out and served up a couple cans of beer shotgun style to the band while they hammered away on their instruments. After a solid rendition of ‘Skate Drink Piss Puke’ (probably in that order too) China Creeps called it a night and made way for the headliners.
Agent Orange, the surf punk legends from Orange County, came to play. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Palm sported a Skull Skates t-shirt underneath his suit jacket and blazed into all the old favorites like ‘Everything Turns Grey’ & ‘El Dorado’ which were seamlessly mixed in with all kinds of classic surf instrumentals. The rhythm section weren’t a couple of hired young guns and fit in nicely. Mike Palm dedicated ‘Too Young To Die’ to Lux Interior from The Cramps even though he was a “creepy old fucker.” When the crowd began to yell for their favourite ‘Bloodstains’ Mike replied, “Don’t fuck with the program!” as they weren’t close to finished. They brought the merch man on stage for a tune, covered the Dead Kennedys, and even played the title track from their ‘Living in Darkness’ album before playing ‘Bloodstains’ and then ending with ‘The Last Goodbye’. How appropriate. But not even the lights coming on in the bar could prevent them from doing an encore, and the crowd sucked it in. Their energy was great throughout, and even though they are a bunch of old farts, I bet this won’t be the last we’ve seen of Agent Orange.
Posted: Mar 5, 2009