February 7th, 2009
The Vandals at Red 7
Austin, Texas- For the longest time, as in all my life, I have waited to see The Vandals live in concert. I didn’t think I’d get the chance after missing them so many times. I was shocked and excited when I learned they were coming to Red 7 of all places. I figured if they ever came back around to Austin it would be a bigger venue or as part of a festival like Fun Fun Fun Fest. I’m not complaining though, not at all.
On the bill that night with The Vandals was a local favorite of mine, Sober Daze. Sober Daze is young up and coming band on the punk rock scene who get better ever time I see them. They used this show to film a live DVD, which was a smart move given the scope of the show. Lots of people packed Red 7 early in fear of a sell out, so they had their biggest crowd that I have seen them play in front of. It was nice to see all those people feeling Sober Daze they way I always have. I’m telling you punk rock fans, they are the next wave of the Austin punk scene.
After Sober Daze was another Austin punk rock staple, Complete Control. Their set was an interesting one to say the least. After two songs, some idiot poser with a bad Mohawk messed with the lead singer by pulling his mic cord, preventing the singer from being heard. That same dude then tried to climb on stage and grab the singer. What he was trying to accomplish, I have no idea. The singer then dropped the mic, all pissed off of course, and started threatening to fight the guy. Being drunk and fearless, the mohawked idiot was even putting up a fight as he was being thrown out. Word is the singer from Complete Control punched him outside before coming back to finish the set.
Upon his return to the stage, he tells the crowd he doesn’t believe in violence. It’s a good thing his band kicks ass, otherwise I’d be done with Complete Control solely based on that. I don’t blame him for being pissed off, but let security do their job (which they did) and play on. He wasn't hurt. They are a great band with a killer sound. That’s what was impressive, not that whole macho act.
After the Complete Control set, out came The Vandals. I was right in front with my body safely guarding my good friend and photographer, who got some great shots. My arms paid the price along with my back, but it was so worth it. From where I was, I could see lead singer Dave Quackenbush’s nose hairs.
After what appeared to be a quick set of a few classics and even some stuff I didn’t recognize, the band played around with some old songs they seemed to have forgotten over the years. It was pretty funny but fun to watch them discuss it amongst themselves and sort of “wing it”. With so many roster changes and albums over the years, I couldn’t pinpoint all the songs on the set. I just know it was an awesome experience. It was the best punk rock show of the year for me thus far, hands down.
Thanks to Mari Hernandez for taking some great photos for our Austin Vida article on Sober Daze.
Jenny Lewis for Austin City Limits TV
2 weeks ago