DRI – 12/14/2012 @ the Blue Bird Theater in Denver
Punk / Thrash / Crossover legends DRI recently tore through Denver again and delivered a full speed ahead set of thrashcore done as only the masters could have.
The Dirty Rotten Imbeciles have been at it for 29 years! During that time they helped to create a sound that blended the furry and aggression of hardcore with the technical prowess of metal. Their earlier albums were rooted more in hardcore and it was 'Dealing With It' that saw the band start to embrace some metal riffage and really push themselves outside the confines of punk rock. By the aptly titled 'Crossover' the band was a juggernaut of thrash. Although the crowds were starting to see as many longhairs as short hairs it was also at about this time that some of the original guard started lifting their noses and taking the position of the elitist jerk, "I only like their hardcore stuff"...
Fuck that weak shit homes! ALL DRI KICKS ASS! I don't have time for bullshit like that. Live they are a band that few can match in sheer intensity. Every song kicks ass. In the live setting they always play the perfect blend of pre-Crossover material and later stuff, often playing 'Dealing With It' almost in it's entirety. My one complaint would be that the last couple of times I saw them they didn't play 'Syringes'. That song fucken' rages and I want to hear it damnit! But needless to say this was a sore dick show (can't be beat!...get it!).
This was another high energy DRI show and I was down front for every minute of it. Of course bodies were flying everywhere as the pit was in full motion. About 30 minutes or so before the end of the show this dude was stepping down onto the floor when he bumped into this girl and spilled some of his beer. Now understand that it is inevitable that your beer will get spilled when you bring it into the pit area at a DRI show (or any other show for that matter). Unfortunately this dude didn't recognize this irrefutable law and was crazy-eyed pissed at the fact that some of his malt beverage was now stuck to the underside of about 20 pairs of Vans. So how did he deal with this problem? The guy, that will from this point in the story on be known as Crazy-Eyes, decided to handle about the same way any other completely nutso son-of-a-bitch would. He cursed her out and threw the rest of the beer in her face. This didn't sit well with her boyfriend (who will now be referred to as Boyfriend for the rest of this tale) so he pushed Crazy-Eyes and said something like "Hey bud, what's yer problem?" This led to some pushing and then Crazy-Eyes just pistoned this dude right in the fucking eye! From there the two of them ended up on the floor tangling assholes. The security guys were quick on the scene and grabbed the two of them pulling them apart. They had seen what had happened and Crazy-Eyes was still putting up a helluva fight so it was he that they had in a choke-hold and were trying to drag him out of the venue. Now this is why I call him Crazy-Eyes...As they were dragging him out he was going apeshit and saying stuff like "I'm gonna kill you! You're dead! You're dead!" and while he shouted his threats his eyes were fucking crazy, the look of a stark raving mad lunatic. I remember making mental note of it at the time, this dude was crazy! Boyfriend kind of re-adjusted himself and tried to regain his composure but had a nice shiner already with a little laceration under his eye. He got hit fucking hard!
Fuck...there are always fights at the big shows. Two weeks ago I caught a couple of SOCIAL DISTORTION shows and there were douche-bags pounding on each other all night. The bouncers had their hands full both notes as the meat heads kept clobbering each other. Mike Ness put it nicely when he said "Tough guys go home early."
Concert violence is nothing new. In the 80's hardcore punk shows were just plain dangerous. Hell, the rising Thrash Metal scene at the time was no different. I can recall going to see SLAYER and TESTAMENT, on one side of the street were the religious protesters and on the other side of the street the waiting ambulances. As I was still waiting in line trying to get in there were dudes coming out on stretchers! Some of the most violent shows I have ever been to were SLAYER and probably even PANTERA. And to clarify violent, I don't mean lots of action and chaos, I mean malicious ass-kicking violence. I've even had to knock a few fuckheads around at shows before! In Colorado Springs I had to fuck a dude up for groping my girlfriend during SICK OF IT ALL. I won't go into the details, but I think you get the point. And obviously we can't forget about what happened to Dimebag. Recently much of the extreme music world pulled together to celebrate the life of Dimebag Darrell (at Dimebash)who was gunned down on stage in the most over the top display of concert violence ever (RIP brother!)...
When DRI finished their set I hung back to talk to Spike and Harold and thank them for their hospitality in getting me into the show. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Boyfriend was outside on the sidewalk in a pool of his own blood.
My friend Andrew was outside and saw it go down. As the horde emptied out the front of the Blue Bird Theater Crazy-Eyes waited (if you remember he had gotten kicked out). When Boyfriend exited the venue Crazy-Eyes jumped at him and stabbed him in the abdomen several times and then slashed him across the face before disappearing into the crowd and the cold Denver night. As Andrew described it, Boyfriends sliced cheek fell off his face and hung like slab of meat. He was fucked up.
As I exited the venue I didn't know any of this had taken place. My friend Deborah and I were taken aback by all the cop cars and the crime scene tape. The exit doors were part of the crime scene and we had to duck under the tape. I asked one of the cops what happened and she replied "someone" got stabbed. That's when Andrew told me what had happened. Holy FUCK!
That night when I got home I couldn't get the image of that guy's crazy fucking eyes out of head. I wrestled with the fact that at least three people's lives had just taken a jagged twist. I can't imagine what the girlfriend was thinking and going through as her boyfriend was getting shanked outside the venue where one of their favorite bands had just played. Or the surprise, shock and terror that Boyfriend must have experienced as he stepped out of the show. And over a spilled beer? What had happened in Crazy-Eyes life up to this point that would drive him to do such a thing? These thoughts and more haunted me all night and depraved me of sound sleep.
My thoughts are with the victim, his girlfriend and his family. Send positive energy their way.
Here is some cool video I took of DRI last year. The rad headbanger is Garth of the Denver Pyrate Punx crue and also of the bands Denver County Death March and Piss and Vinegar.