Fucked Up at Fitzgerald's, 1/26/14
Fucked Up, Glue, Back to Back, Bastard Cult
Photo by Jackson Gorman
January 26, 2014
In all of the angry, sweaty universe of hardcore punk, there's no other band quite like Toronto's Fucked Up. Don't bother trying to name another group in the genre whose last release was a critically acclaimed rock opera set in industrial England of the 1970s, because there isn't one. Led by hyper-earnest lead screamer Damian Abraham, Fucked Up has made their name not only on the strength of their free-for-all live performances, but on the standout songwriting that makes so many of their hardcore peers seem like dull rehashes of the past.
Whether taken as standard-bearers of 21st Century punk or simply as interesting weirdoes, Fucked Up is a must-see for fans of wild and wooly rock and roll, and on Sunday night they strolled into Fitzgerald's to give Houston a big, sweaty hug.
The crowd that showed up to see them took a little coaxing (and maybe a few beers) to really cut loose in the preferred fashion. They were awfully subdued for local openers Bastard Cult, who unleashed a pounding racket of chainsaw hardcore that was received rather coolly by the arriving audience. Despite the terrifying screams and furious drumming pouring out of the club's PA, the crowd held back initially, prompting singer Jaron Sayers to remind fans what would be expected of them on the evening.
"This is a fucking punk rock show," he said. "Do punk rock shit!"
Perhaps that advice was taken to heart, because when Austin's Glue took the stage next, the "punk rock shit" began in earnest. Almost immediately, a wild pit broke out in the middle of the floor as intrepid stage divers took out entire rows of fans up front. As Glue stomped through its rendition of bruising, early-'80s hardcore, the message was received loud and clear that the dancefloor was now open for slamming.
The action continued for Houston's Back to Back, one of the fastest-rising young hardcore bands in the local scene. Vocalist Chaney Lim had fun lying on top of the fans up front as if they were a chaise lounge as the band blasted out chugging, early hardcore. The mosh pitters were given a wide berth as the shoving and strutting intensified, with one intrepid young lady repeatedly attempting to walk on folks' heads during the melee. If it took Fitzgerald's a bit to warm up, punks were certainly holding back no longer.