Screeching Weasel electrifies Gothic Theatre

Categories: Concert Reviews

Aaron Thackeray

L.A.M.F's • King Rat
08.18.10 | Gothic Theatre

You can't accuse Screeching Weasel of breaking any new ground, musically speaking. But talk about the soundtrack to my young life growing up. Considering how I wore out cassette tapes of the band's songs solidly throughout the early to mid-'90s at parties, skate sessions and the awkward one-on-one moments in which I tried to impress a girl, the anticipation of seeing the band last night was overwhelming.

Now I can understand why some Boomers trip over themselves to see bands they grew up with, groups like the Stones, the Eagles and Jimmy Buffet. Growing up, the music obviously spoke to them. And Screeching Weasel, whom I considered the torchbearer of the power-chord punk pop made famous by the Ramones a generation before, spoke to me with lyrics that resonated with the disenfranchised outsider kid I thought I was at the time.

Thanks to the ridiculous parking obstacles I encountered, I didn't make it inside the Gothic until close to 8 p.m., which meant I missed Dave Mansfield and the L.A.M.F.s, a band I caught all too briefly a few weeks ago at Bender's. Bummer. And by the time I snaked a beer from the bar, King Rat was sound checking front and center of the near-capacity crowd. It had been a while since I'd seen King Rat, so I settled in and figured I'd see if the band brought anything new to my ears.

Aaron Thackeray

Boy, did they ever. After about a 45-minute set of Cro-Mags meets Rancid-style punk, I was convinced that King Rat had played the best live set I'd ever heard. The songs came on top of each other, rapid-fire, with no time to get bored. And while the guitar-chord patterns might have duplicated here and there, the energy was undeniable.

Now, I've seen loads of locals get booked to open shows only to end up killing time on the clock until the headliners took the stage. But on this night, King Rat earned the hearts and minds of every kid in the place. Kinda cool to hear so many people getting stoked on a local band most had probably seen for the very first time just moments before. Hell, I was just as stoked. King Rat owned it!

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