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Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Death Crisis tour in Grand Rapids show review

Death Crisis tour show at the Cage, Grand Rapids, October 18, 2010

There are approximately 150 miles of road in between Michigan’s two most populous cities, Grand Rapids and Detroit. It comes out to being about a 2 to 2.5 hour drive from the east coast of the mitten to the west coast. However, that isn’t the only divide between the two cities. Within each city is a thriving punk rock scene, and yet there remains a wall of division higher than the one between punk rock and polka. Grand Rapids bands are a rare sight to see in Detroit, and bands in Detroit are of little more assistance, largely ignoring western Michigan altogether. This is a tragic occurrence on both fronts; both sides of the state have significant contributions to offer the all-encompassing hardcore scene. I have experienced the Detroit scene, and until this show, I hadn’t seen exactly what the Grand Rapids scene had to offer. So off I went to see what I saw as the perfect show to investigate what western Michigan was all about, punk rock wise.

The Oiley Menace, from Muskegon, was the first to take the stage at this small little warehouse in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Grinding away short, loud songs of a grindcore nature, this three-piece was an intense band, but I have not and probably will not understand grindcore outside of its inherent ridiculousness and the hilarious song titles that arouse my morbid, misanthropic, politically incorrect, and insensitive sense of humor. The band itself was okay, but I didn’t see anything particularly outlandish. This band is very new though, so I won’t count them out yet. Good for grindcore, not so much for a guy who admittedly fails to understand it.

Next up was touring band Death Crisis, from San Diego. These guys came around Detroit or possibly Lansing earlier this year, maybe late last year (hint: my memory isn’t so good), and I did not happen to catch them then, so I was overjoyed to catch them this time around. Having never heard this band before, I did not know what to expect. What I got was the intense, thrash-filled style of 80s hardcore I love, with a very heavy slap on the back to Los Crudos, incorporating some Spanish lyrics into their venom-spewing tracks of pissed-off hardcore. This band was a fresh perspective for me, a group of multi-cultural punk rockers from the other side of the continent, perceivably feeling the same anger and rage I do. The differences between our respective communities are not so large after all.

Following them was Positive Noise, fronted by Punks Before Profits headmaster Ryan Cappelletti. I had only heard one track and did not notice anything unusually unique, so I didn’t know which way this set would go. What Ryan and Co. delivered far exceeded my expectations; Youth of Today mixed with RAMBO and a healthy dose of organic cocaine and communal awareness is what drives this band. The outward frustration channeled into positivity was represented in the lyrics and that really set the band apart from 625-ish thrashcore. This was the band that proved Grand Rapids is not to be ignored, by Michigan locals or by touring acts.

Wrapping up the show were anarcho-punk locals Attention Span. Cage owner Trent took the mic and raged his street punk influenced anarchist noise to the crowd to much avail. The snotty anger and raspy rants engrained what is good about anarcho-punk. Dark sounds, a quick beat, and a pissed-off vocalist with a lot to say displayed that Attention Span is a force to be reckoned with on every lake shore in the state.

After delivering my zines to the crowd, I visited a local friend and afterwards left to deconstruct the wall of division between these two scenes.

-Aunty Social

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