Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Phenomenauts

Show: The Phenomenauts At 924 Gilman
Headliner: The Phenomenauts
Openers: The Bananas, The Shruggs, The Guy Guys, and The Touch Me Nots
Location: The Gilman Street Project in Berkeley, CA
Date: Friday, February 3, 2006
2006 Show #: 2

My first trip to the legendary 924 Gilman. The starting point for such bands as Operation Ivy, Rancid, and Green Day. A hub of east bay California punk. And a straight edge (no alcohol or drugs), all edges, ripping good time kinda place. Or so they advertise. At least everything was cheap.

For somewhere straight edged, I was expecting a lot more respect. But I suppose that was naive. A rule against fighting isn't going to stop fighting. It'll just mean people can be more of assholes since the threat of retaliation is removed. The mosh pits looked like the least fun I've ever seen moshpits. They were closer to fighting then many real fights I've seen. People weren't looking to lets loose and have fun in the pit. They were looking to push people around. And what's with all the smoking. Though I suppose it makes sense when everyone's around the age of 15.

I'm not going to give much space to the openers. Certainly not individually. They can all be pretty well summed up with the word "sucked." I only head two songs by The Touch Me Nots and I wasn't that impressed. I enjoyed the concept of a cover of The Go-Gos "Our Lips Are Sealed," But execution was somewhat lacking. The all girl band The Guy Guys was similarly blah. A female vocalist for The Fall's "Victoria" just doesn't work, sorry. But they did have the fastest set up time I've ever seen. The Shruggs made me shrug in boredom. They had at least written some songs though, if only two of them. The Bananas started out ok, but quickly stopped impressing. And what was with them letting that guy keep getting up on stage and knocking band members around? Egads. Several boring hours.

The Phenomenauts put on the best show of all 5 bands. Or maybe it was just the only band with talent. My problem was that they came on at 12:30a and played til 1:30a. Considering I got to the club at 8:30p, I was exhausted by the time they started. They have a space band schtick, which very much reminds me of Devo. They have costumes and songs to match though, so it comes off pretty well. Certainly if you're at least somewhat forgiving. They had a fun show though. I liked their "Earth is the best" song. My thought is that if they opened for a 'good' to 'very good' band, it'd make for a heck of show.


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