By MATT SAINCOME
Friday, Oct. 12, 2012
924 Gilman St.
Better than: Going to three different shows to see all these genres.
Friday night saws a very mixed bill at 924 Gilman St. Local rappers Antwon and Main Attrakionz headlined the night, supported by opening hardcore punk acts Caged Animal and Stares. Heathurzz and Laughter, more genre-less (and sometimes genderless) bands, played in the middle. It was a somewhat amazing night of people from different musical worlds coming together at the legendary punk venue, playing music, and having no issues with each other.
The punk/hardcore bands:
Caged Animal started off the night with a seven-minute bang. Fast, short, and aggressive, this new local band deals in a throwback-style '80s hardcore. The highlight was when, for a brief second, the singer's voice almost sounded like the guy from the almighty No Tolerance. The overall energy and crowd was pretty stale.
The singer of Stares started off their set by calmly telling the crowd that "each and everyone of [them] is a vile, self-serving piece of garbage." It sounds harsh, but at this show it was probably true.
The experimental/noise bands:
The singer of Heathurzz started off her band's set by saying, "Women and genderqueers up front -- Cissmale dudes step aside!" So yeah. The set, which featured some non-punk crowd members doing a lot of embarrassing "moshing," was just as horrible as that opening statement. The band members -- who made sure the crowd knew they were exclusively girls and genderqueers -- finished their set with an Occupy chant. Very retro.
Laughters is a keyboardist and drummer duo. They make music together.
Antwon, who will be featured doing an intro for the upcoming Caged Animal record, put on the most energetic and punk performance of the night. This beefy rapper from San Jose was breaking rules left and right, encouraging people to stage-dive, stage-diving himself, rapping about "bitches sucking his D," and just being an all-around sweaty badass all night long. This guy holds the stage like it's his, even if he does trip and fall over while on it, with a natural charisma that doesn't seem forced or fake.
The crowd fed off that, and as his set progressed, and the rapper became sweatier and sweatier, they grew more excited. The show definitely peaked during Antwon's set as far as crowd energy, people-watching, and sweat were concerned. Toward the end of the show he had the guys in the back dim the lights and rocked a towel around his head in order to try to keep his perspiration under control, but it was just like the crowd -- there was no controlling it. The highlights of the set was the sweaty delivery of "My Turn To Die" and the even more forceful "Helicopter."
Main Attrakionz had significantly fewer people hang around for them than Antwon did, but they made up for it with an excessive amount of gunshot noises. Bang bang! They didn't care about the smaller crowd, and gave it their all, winning over the people who stuck around. Bang bang! And with the amount of gunshots going off, they could kill this crowd several times over if they wanted to. Bang bang! But the most intriguing part of their set was the shockingly unhip kid in a Cal Berkeley Bears sweatshirt and his dance moves. Bang bang! Now to be fair to Mr. Go Bears!, if this crowd tried any harder to be hip it might have ended up tearing a riff in the space-time continuum and teleporting back to whatever vintage year these people all came from. Or even worse -- teleporting to Brooklyn. Bang bang!
Overheard: "The guy who wrote that big Gilman article is here."
By the way: Antwon should play on more punk shows.
Personal bias: Turns out I am NOT banned from Gilman. I am, however, very certainly on the "dirty look" list. Oh no! Do you think they put me in their burn book, too?