|Black Flag's Ron Reyes. (All Cat Rose photos)|
As Black Flag raged, a guy in the crowd was so enthralled with one tune that he wildly began punching the air. His fists rocketed high and low --- and smashed a passerby in the face. An apology was given to the unfortunate victim, and the man's private boxing match continued.
And so did Black Flag, this touring version consisting of original guitarist Greg Ginn, second vocalist Ron Reyes and newcomers Dave Klein on bass and Gregory AMoore on drums.
Based on mixed reviews we saw, we weren't sure what we were gonna get. But don't believe everything you read, folks. The band and the Seattle crowd just clicked.
|Greg Ginn and Reyes.|
The scene was El Corazon last Friday night, and the sweaty crowd of old and young males and females packed tightly into the small club and gave it their all on most songs. When the band was ON, the fans with raised fists and loud voices kept pace by squeezing out every last ounce of their energy. For some, their time in the pit was shorter than others, as many fans either trudged out of the war zone on their own or had to be carried by friends to safety.
Black Flag blasted out of the gate fast and furious with "Revenge," "I've Had It," "Nervous Breakdown" and "Fix Me," and then a new song "The Chase" capped off the initial barrage.
The band kept rolling strong with a couple of new tunes alongside "Depression," "No Values," "Six Pack" and "TV Party," but they began losing steam as the second half of the set commenced. This is where some songs began to drag drumming-wise (but let's face it, nobody can play sharp-as-a-tack skins for Black Flag like Robo or Bill Stevenson) and Ginn relied on his theremin playing too much on the drawn out "Can't Decide" and new tune "Down in the Dirt."
Ginn was a man possessed on guitar for a while, but then went a little theremin crazy later-- and it was a bit painful to watch him shake his right hand near the instrument while the rest of the band looked as if they wanted to kick things into gear again.
And they soon did with "Rise Above" and "Jealous Again," which featured Reyes and Piggy singer Izzy Gibson prowling the stage and sharing vocals.
This gig gets a "B" in our grade book, and for the record, no Black Flag gig we ever saw back in the early to mid-'80s was ever close to perfect, so this is right on par. It's what live music is all about: hits and misses, taking chances and hopefully bringing it all back together for a walloping ending.
Appreciate this music, people. It's real, it's who we are.
Reyes' other band, the always rockin' Piggy, opened the gig and Good For You (featuring Ginn, Klein, AMoore and singer Mike Vallely) manned the second slot with their heavy, groove-oriented tunes.
|Reyes and Gibson, top, Craig McKimm and Lisafurr Lloyd, below|
... and one last word from Reyes ...