There was no way possible The Lookouting’s Saturday night show was not going to sell out. Gilman St was packed solid for the extravaganza of punk rock shenanigans that would come from the event’s strongest line-up of Lookout legends.
Kicking off the antics was none other Groovie Ghoulies frontman, Kepi Ghoulie playing his brand of pop punk rock inspired heavily by the Ramones. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I never was a fan of the Groovie Ghoulies, they just didn’t connect with me, but tonight was still an entertaining and fun show featuring a cover of Billy Bragg’s A New England which wasn’t bad at all. (Young Statues also cover this song acoustically with Brianna Collins of Tigers Jaw and it’s freakin’ awesome! It’s on Run For Cover Records, look it up!). If the kids weren’t fired up before, they certainly were now.
The head honcho behind Lookout Records is no stranger to those in the Berkeley punk scene or to anyone who is into punk rock music and Larry Livermore’s own band, The Potatomen were up next to dish out their stories of yesteryear and to play some tunes. Having bought both of Larry’s books, it’s interesting hearing him tell stories in between the songs and it should be noted that The Potatomen’s drummer was none other than Chris Appelgren who is the man behind the artwork found on Green Day’s Kerplunk LP. Seriously, there was a whole tribe of Berkeley royalty amongst the crowds at this event. It was pretty awesome.
From the laundromat to the stage of Gilman St, Brent’s TV were definitely a hell of a lot of fun. These guys were so hilarious and a good time was had by all. I didn’t even remember a single song until the moment they started playing them and then the memories came flooding back. These guys are well worth your time. Check them out, especially if you like laundromat garage rock n roll with a stand up drummer.
Squirtgun were the biggest surprise for me. I dig ’em but had no idea what it was going to be like as bassist Mass Giorgini was the only original member on stage. Still, backed by drummer Danny Panic (ex-Screeching Weasel), guitarist Zac Damon (Screeching Weasel), and vocalist Kevin Sierzega (ex-Teen Idols), Squirtgun put on one of the most fun sets of the whole weekend. Besides playing tracks from Squirtgun, they also played covers of Screeching Weasel, Common Rider, and Teen Idols, before finishing off with their hit, Social (you know, the song that plays over the opening credits to the movie Mallrats). Good times!
How good are The Smugglers? I think “heaps” is the word you’re looking for! They are one hell of a fun band. Making the trek down from Canada, more than a few were saying that they stole the show. That could very well be true considering they were flawless. Some bands just stay awesome no matter how many years they have been broken up for and it seemed like they had never gone away. They were just as fun now as they were when they toured Australia with Mach Pelican and the Hard-Ons a gazillion years ago. Heaps rad band! Now if only I could just find their vinyl in Australia life would be so much better.
I hadn’t seen Pansy Division since they toured Australia in ’95 and here I was 22 years later seeing them again. They are so much fun. Hilarious songs and now having two guitars is the best thing they could have done. Joel Reader (ex-Mr T Experience, The Plus Ones, The Avengers, etc) has the distorted guitar while vocalist Jon Ginoli has the jangly guitar and when you mix the two together, you get the sound that Pansy Division should have always had. Their set consisted of classics, both old and new, kicking off with Fem In A Black Leather Jacket and smashing through their golden greats like Denny (Naked), Bad Boyfriend, Blame It On The Bible, and Dick Of Death which featured an oversized blow up penis being thrown around the venue. And why not? They were tops and I am stoked they’re still together and doing what they do because they are an important band for breaking down walls and boundaries and fighting homophobia.
If you’ve been listening to the show then you would have heard the interview with Dr Frank of the Mr T Experience (hey, I’ll plug it as much as I want… it’s my show after all) and how much of a fan I am of MTX. Seeing him play with the full band is something I’ve only dreamed of cos I really do dig this band bigtime. I have every single record they have ever released (an impressive accomplishment cos it’s not easy) and I couldn’t wait for this day to finally come. It has to be said that they didn’t disappoint. They played everything I wanted and more. Opening with At Gilman Street and following through with classics like I Love You But You’re Standing On My Foot, Cinthya With A Y, I Fell For You, Swallow Everything, Dumb Little Band, And I Will Be With You, Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba, Even Hitler Had A Girlfriend, etc etc… it was all the hits! All of them. It was so much radness and fun combined and I really wish this band was way bigger than they are because these songs are just like wow and you should all be listening to them. I mean, why wouldn’t you? Not listening to them is just nonsensical.
Once the night was over, I was exhausted but extremely happy. Such a good night for great bands and I really wish I could see bands like this all the time. I shan’t complain though cos the Descendents are touring Australia soon with Nursery Crimes supporting so if that doesn’t scream “Hey America, now it’s your turn to be jealous!” then I dunno what will. Nursery Crimes are amazing. Go listen to All Torn Up Inside on YouTube and try and tell me otherwise. ANYWAY, there was one more night to go and I needed sleep. Bad. Let’s rock!
The Mr T Experience