Friday Night: OFF! At Warehouse Live

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With duct-taped guitars and a bareboned drum kit, openers Cerebral Ballzy (above) delivered a Germs-on-meth hardcore salvo, stirring circle pits with their frenetic songs. As a melting pot outfit from Brooklyn, they toiled with topics like being too broke to afford the subway and partying - the main activity they wanted to continue unabated in Houston's dank night.

With skate-trash underpinnings and twin-guitar thrust and weave, they pressed the younger crowd into fervor but left some of the older crowd, well, unimpressed, rolling their eyes.

Together, like brothers of the broken-down van, the bands prove that punk is an idiom alive and well. Hell-bent on steering kids not towards fatalism but a future filled with their own passions, they ignited Houston's old Chinatown district with anarchic aplomb.

Personal Bias: I saw the Circle Jerks with hundreds of people at Engine Room ten years ago, and my first purchased punk shirt was a yellow Shawn Kerri-drawn Jerks skanker back in 1986, so Keith Morris can do no wrong, in my eyes.

The Crowd: Full and frenzied, but amazingly well-behaved. No one dropped to my feet pummeled and unconscious.

Overheard In the Crowd: "Dave, how can you stay so excited about this stuff?" said one old school fan after the opening band made drunk-punk look novel and noble again.

Random Notebook Dump: An inebriated fan shouted at my wife that she looks 15 years younger than her age. Damn, I agree.

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Location Info


Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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Charles Lentz
Charles Lentz

How can you leave Retox out of this article?  Did you not get there in time to see them play? Cerebral Ballzy was a complete joke.  Bands that act like juvenile delinquents and throw beer everywhere aren't worth mentioning at all. Justin Pearson of Retox is as responsible and influential of a punk/hardcore figure as any of the guys in Off!, not to mention the rest of his band, Gabe Serbian/Michael Crain/Thor Dickey?  Come on man!!!

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