On November 29, I had two of my dreams come true: I got to walk the streets of San Francisco from the piers to Lafayette Park to Haight Ashbury to Slims (333 11th Street) and I got to see Less Than Jake put on a fantastic show! Taking my soon-to-be cohost, Scott Loco, we made the adventure of a lifetime (surely shortening the lives of our legs with walking for 10 miles mostly uphill) to get to the punk show of my dreams. Lineup: for openers we had Get Dead and Masked Intruder and for closers we had, none other than some of my personal heroes, Anti-Flag and Less Than Jake.
Being a punk rock lover from Sacramento, I’ve been to my fair share of shows, but none even compare to this one. I’m not sure if it was the cool atmosphere, the good people, or the great music, but I would definitely make this pilgrimage again!
For part of the 2013 Fat Wreck Chords Tour, Slims was a great venue. Having never been to Slims I was not sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a great atmosphere! As you enter, it has an old-style brick-building look to it definitely giving off the feel of an underground punk scene. Here, you were “comfortably close to your neighbor” (with it being sold out; fun fact: it was the first show Less Than Jake has sold out in SF). It was nice to see the place packed for such great bands, especially with a crowd in which I felt I could turn to any of my neighbors and start a good conversation with. You had girls that looked 15, older couples in their 60s, and 4 great bands in such an intricate setting.
First up for the night was Get Dead, and boy, did they come out swingin’. A lot of high energy and great riffs that inspired Scott Loco to say “They remind me of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones without the horns!” They were such a good way to start the show with their ability to get the crowd to roar within moments of getting there. At one point, the singer crawled out into the crowd and, in true punk rock fashion, was held by the community in the pit. Such a good band!
Between bands a screen came down that covered tear down/setup, but was entertaining to the audience in a static music video way.
Second up to bat we had Masked Intruder. They definitely brought a very interesting touch to their set by, what I assume is, their normal get up of different colored ski masks looking like a group of badass criminal ninja turtles. Their sound was very good, like 90s punk that everyone knows and loves. They were less aggressive of a punk band, but still very good and upbeat. They reminded me of a more punk version of The Ataris with some Gin Blossoms thrown in. At one point, the guitarist came into the crowd to “show us how to dance,” definitely bonus points in my eyes being a woman who LOVES to dance! And what band called Masked Intruder would be complete without an officer who may or may not have stripped a little….yeah, it was like that!!! Great performance!
The next band was one of the greats: Anti-Flag! This was the second time I had seen them (with my first being over 5 years ago) and they are always amazing!!! This year happened to mark their 20th anniversary and you could tell they have just gotten crisper and better with every year. There were a lot of awesome moments during their set, one being them doing a cover of The Clash’s Should I Stay Or Should I Go. Their cover was so good it made me appreciate the original even more. Another great moment was when the audience was told to start the “biggest pit” and was instructed “If someone falls, YOU PICK THEM UP!!!!” For being a part of a counterculture that is looked at with disgust a lot of the time, are we really that bad if these are the instructions we are giving one another? I think not!!! We may be a brotherhood/sisterhood of “creepy-looking people”, but we are some of the most humane humans, as Anti-Flag was able to show. Still, even with all that, the best part of their set HAD TO BE when they disassembled the drum set to reset it up in the audience (where the pit was) for the drummer to play again. This brings way more meaning to “playing in the pit”. This was not only a great moment in MY show history, but it shows how much trust is really in the punk rock family. I also loved that one of the last things they did was mention Tony Sly (from No Use for a Name, who passed away), which I greatly applaud them for especially since their cover of Toaster In The Bathtub is my favorite on the new Tony Sly tribute album done by Fat Wreck Chords.
Last, but CERTAINTLY NOT LEAST, was Less Than Jake. They happened to be celebrating their 21st anniversary (a real eye opener since Scott Loco and I are each 21). I loved that they played a lot from their new album, having reviewed their new album See the Light. One of the best, most inspiring moments in their set was when they let a huge fan of theirs named Scott play sax with them on one of their songs!! Could you imagine being able to do that!?!?!?!?!? And apparently this was not the first time they have let a fan join them on stage for a song or two. A funny moment in their set was when they picked two strangers from different sides of the room to come on stage to start eating an éclair (each at one end working their way to the middle Lady and the Tramp style) until they were “sucking face.” What kind of show would it be without a little bit of hooligan antics? This along with their commentary you know has been perfected in their 21 years together led to harmless and hilarious fun at the gig.
Overall it was a great show to attend and it was definitely worth the pain in my legs I am experiencing. Great show, great people, model-like legs now, what more could a person want?
TLDR: you know it’s a great show when you walk out of the venue not knowing if the sweat on you is your own or a mixture of other people’s.
Make sure you check out my show Roll Outta Bed With Brittany Tuesdays at 11 am, Scott Loco’s show Pool Party Thursdays at 3 pm, and keep an ear out for our talk showing coming next semester, all on kssu.com.