Monday, June 6, 2011


My second visit to The White House in Columbus to check out yet another hardcore show. Summer's finally came out of its shell and spared us absolutely no mercy from perhaps one of the most sweltering basement shows I've experienced. If it was 94 outside, it was 100 degrees in the basement - and I'm sure that body heat wasn't taken into account. I spent the early hours of that day swimming next to a small flock of furry alpacas at a friend's farm. If only I could have pocketed and later enjoy that cool bliss at the show. Unfortunately God forgot to formulate that possibility when he created man.

Everyone literally warmed up outside drinking various tall cans of hard lemonade (and critiquing tastes of each one) before the bill finally revved into motion with Youth Attack/Columbus's own Vile Gash. Consider this set a warm-up for their West Coast tour (currently active) with Columbus cohort Nukkehammer. With the exception of some Pittsburgh visitors and Dayton-residing James Downing, a frequent of almost every Columbus punk show I've attended over the years, everyone planted feet and chilled with a few head lashes to the band's reverberating ripper of a set list. They apparently played some new tracks from their upcoming LP, including "Deluded." Joyously chaotic with a tighter grip on their brutality blasts - an improvement since I last saw them a while back. (Note: a long ass time due to my NYC-Ohio commutes and school.) Vile Gash ended their short set with a Crucifix cover (correct me if I'm wrong), and then everyone retreated upstairs to catch a hint of cool breeze.

There was a bit of a lag in time before the show moved on - mostly because School Jerks and Culo were nowhere to be found. Because of this, Omegas, the Canadian headliner of the night, ended up playing second to keep things going. I found this unfortunate because the reception of their set wasn't as crazy as it could have potentially been if they instead got the last slot. Regardless, Omegas was making the hardcore slams rain with the lights off. In this situation I wish I wasn't so petite and frail, because I wanted to stomp across the floor with the big guys so badly. (Realistically, I rickashay off anyone who crosses my path.) So imagine how bummed I was when "Disgusting Fun" (side note: intro echoes "Straight Edge Revenge" to me) kicked in. Took a picture of the vocalist in his bucket hat and trench coat get-up, but post-development I realized my thumb got in the way. He was quick to point out that unlike the noticeably absents, they "arrived on time."

Culo: I've heard a lot about this band before this set. Heard about the infamous flag burning at My Friends, The Pit fest and an apparent group beat-up of a troublemaker in the crowd during their MFTP set. Personally, I just wanted to see all this myself because a) I really, really like the "Toxic Vision" EP and find it to be a very fun listen, and b) I always take all stories with a grain of salt. When given the platform, everyone has a tendency to build up even the smallest of conflicts. So boom, Culo happened. Literally, the set lasted 6 minutes. I was amused by the slight uneasiness I sensed from the crowd, especially during the band's banters on being a Chicago hardcore band and beating the woes of bronchitis in the name of hardcore to play hardcore. You couldn't escape harm when crowd drives were encouraged by both the band and some ecstatic moshers. But hey, it was about time I saw some aggressive monkeying in the tiny basement.

School Jerks closed the show that night, and the time transition to them was equivalent to my walk all the way to a United Dairy Farm and back for a needed tall can of Arizona Ice Tea. (Too miserably hot to slam beers.) Had I not done so, I would have dry heaved vomit into the upstairs toilet, because dehydration became the end product of the hot, crowded basement. I took a birdbath against the bathroom sink and returned to the basement, immediately covered in a second coating of sweat and dust. Eerily quiet, the only sound breaking the silence was School Jerk's frontman chugging a 40 of cold, Natty Ice. As Canadian band #2, School Jerks was snooty and punk as fuck. The unbearable heatwave at this point might have contributed to the chaos. 80% of their set involved the vocalist stumbling about, nose and mouth plastered in his own production of thick, gooey snot (eventually mixed with blood), and a chuckling grin I seriously cannot get out of my mind every time I think about this set. The crowd got real agro at this point. I remember seeing the back of the crowd demolished like a set of bowling pins. I was kind of bummed that the ultra snootiness of the vocals didn't transfer well live (listen to their stuff and you'll know exactly what I mean), but that may have something to do with the constantly cut-off mic and the vocalist's state of sobriety. That entire set was an adrenaline rush: you had to hold on to your dear self if you really didn't want to get hurt, and you had to play dodge-the-snot every time the vocalist whipped his head sideways. I walked away with a purple right boob and snot dangling off my hair.

Overall great show. Wish the dog was around when I needed the snot licked off of me.

1 comment:

  1. I was one of the Pittsburgh visitors. You should have seen Culo, Omegas, and School Jerks at the Tower later that night, it was equally insane and awesome. I too was covered in snot at the end of this set though. Punk baptism.