Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Crosses blaze through Die Kreuzen tunes in Seattle

The Crosses in Seattle. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy

Dan Kubinski was spot-on.

The Crosses vocalist hit the nail on the head a few months ago when he informed us how the band would sound when it smashed through the gate and started playing gigs.

"Fucking ferociously blistering," he told us.

And that's exactly the treatment our eardrums received on Saturday night at The Highline in Seattle. It was roaring. It was unhinged, yet so damn precise. It was wonderful.

The band -- which also consists of Mike Olson on drums, Dave Eck on guitar and Joe Sanfelippo on bass -- blazed through the crash-bang-wallop classic 1984 debut Die Kreuzen album from front to back and then added "Man in the Trees," which stoked the crowd even further and had copious feet stomping on the ground and fists swinging through the air. Voices were raised and smiles were aplenty.

Throughout the set, Kubinski -- singer for the defunct Die Kreuzen -- whipped his dreads just as rapid as the rampant beat, intensely eyeballed the crowd and swung his wiry body every which way. And he grinned away like he was having the time of his life.

It's because he was. This is a special time for him and The Crosses, which have played gigs since March in their home state of Wisconsin and powered through our area with shows in Seattle and Portland over the weekend.

"We're doing our best to reproduce the record, to have that soul that the record has," he told this blog in February. "I think people are really gonna have a good time -- just as good of a time as we are."

And they did, especially one guy who was revved up to the hilt during the slow-and-building-into-chaos "All White." He matched Kubinski's enthusiasm and sang along into the microphone that the singer handed his way.

Die Kreuzen songs mean so much to everyone who's followed the band from day one or jumped on along the way. During the show, I had flashbacks from when I first caught the band's raucous set at the Cathay de Grande in Hollywood in 1984. That was a show for the ages as we all piled onto the small stage, singing and thrashing about. Saturday's gig was top-notch, as well, and then some.

The Crosses are a tight musical unit and put those songs to the test. They're tough tunes to master, they told us before the show while sipping on beers at a local bar, and that's what makes it all the more satisfying for the band to drive them home and apply even a heavier edge than before. (The band hit a snag on "Man in the Trees," but powered through to the finish.)

They even hammered out a new song "Hate Market," which carries on the tradition of the 21 tunes on the debut.

"The songs we play are still exponentially mind-blowing to anyone who's hearing it for the first time or the hundredth, and very, very much fun to play live," Eck told us in February.

Added Sanfelippo in the same story: "No one in the know needs me to tell them that the Die-K LP is perhaps the finest specimen of hardcore face-stomping available on the market, both at the time of release and today."

Perhaps the biggest treat of the night was listening to Corey Rusk of Touch and Go Records -- which released the Die Kreuzen debut -- speak with Kubinski and tell the singer the importance of the album during the pre-show hangout. And then there was Vic Bondi -- whose former band Articles of Faith shared bills with Die Kreuzen -- chatting away with Kubinski at the merch booth. Early hardcore dudes' meetings of the minds. You can't come any more full circle than that.

Here's some more Cat Rose photos:


  1. Thanks! Great to check it with ya, Bill!

  2. Great to see you Saturday, Andy. Sorry I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to you and Cat, but it was a haul back to Olympia. Thanks for hipping me to this show; such a thrill to finally hear those songs live and the new song was incredible too. (Sean L., Ex-Gods)

  3. Good to see ya, Sean! Whatta great show!