Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ready ... Setlist ... Go: From Battalion of Saints to Seaweed, Memorable Songs and Gigs

Battalion of Saints (Ed Colver photo)

By Andy

Snagging a band's setlist was always a crucial part of attending a punk-rock gig for my brother, Ed, and myself back in the early '80s.

It was almost more vital than seeing how many stage divers we could smack out of the way as they flew toward us while we were up front digging the band. Sure, we'd take a lump here and there, but that was OK, it was part of the live experience (our friend Pat once took one for the team in the head and blacked out momentarily at a Minor Threat show). But Ed was the prizewinner one evening, when he grabbed a guy trying to get up on the divers' perch -- and block our precious view -- ripping the flannel off his back, sending the boy shirtless on and off the stage and into the night.

So, the setlist: Sure, you've got your songs, but also -- back then -- they were handwritten by band members, and they made for great keepsakes. I'd often make mix tapes, moving the songs around from their rotation on the bands' records to fit the order on the list. Kind of cool.
(Nowadays, lists are often typed up on a computer, but they're still there for the taking, so that's alright, too.)

What you've got here are nuggets from our archive: Battalion of Saints, Wasted Youth, Bad Religion, Crucifix, Zero Boys and Raw Power from the LA area -- and even one that Cat and I brought home of Seaweed from the late '90s after we moved up to Seattle. (At the end, you'll find a Minor Threat written on a San Diego newspaper and a Muffs scrolled on a picnic plate, both of which were featured in earlier T-SHIT -- acronym for this blog -- posts.)


Wasted Youth
  BATTALION OF SAINTS (BATS) -- 1982: Almost didn't get a ride to this one at Bob's Place in a sketchy area of LA. With a crowded car, I offered to ride in the trunk if need be. But, luckily, I scrunched into the back seat and was soon bopping my head along to "I Wanna Make You Scream," "Fighting Boys" and more of the BATS' metalized-punk tunes.

WASTED YOUTH -- 1981: "Problem Child," "Teenage Nark" ... yes. "Rock Around the Clock" ... hmmm. This gig was a biggie, featuring 999, Circle Jerks and WY at Florentine Gardens. Ed had to fold this mini-poster-sized list four times to fit it in his pocket so he could have his arms free to properly skank during the Jerks' set later. I wore a kilt over my jeans that night, crowd surfed during 999 and almost had one of my shoes pulled off.

Bad Religion


BAD RELIGION -- 1982: Another massive Florentine gig with the Angelic Upstarts, Social Distortion and the Blades (Huntington Beach's punks, not the Irish soul-driven popsters). Most of the stellar early songs are featured here; I wonder what became of "Brett's New One" ... one of their trillion fans nowadays has got to have the answer.

CRUCIFIX -- 1982: Spiky-haired Crucifix from SF graced Torrance's Alpine Village for this summertime gig.
As the band hit the stage, singer Sothira was nowhere to be found.
Someone eventually tracked him down, so with a bottle of Jack Daniels in hand, he sang/screamed through their set --- and then puked all over the stage.

ZERO BOYS -- 1982: Big-time stuff here, seeing the ZB's from Indianapolis at Alpine Village alongside the Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, MDC and Redondo's own Detonators. From "High Places" to "Drug Free Youth," the band blitzed through its set and forever left an indentation on my brain. "Vicious Circle" is one of the top punk efforts of all time. We'll see them in August in Seattle ... for the first time in 29 years.

Zero Boys
Raw Power
RAW POWER -- 1985: Talk about a strange night. One minute we were searching for my friend's glasses on the dance floor after the Venom/Slayer/Exodus headbanging crowd dispersed from the Hollywood Palladium ... and then we were watching Raw Power up the street at the Cathay de Grande.
This Italian band smoked through its 23-song set to a tiny crowd, many of whom found this gig by accident while cruising back to their cars after the metal affair.
It's a pity that my friend couldn't see the action sans glasses (we never found them), but I did my best to describe what was happening: guitar player just jumped in the air, drummer broke a stick, etc. I was like Chris Berman, man ... "Now playing, Raw Power (Rangers)." Something like that.

SEAWEED -- 1998 or so: All we know is that the dance floor at the Showbox (at the Market) seemed like a diving board during the Tacoma band's bouncy, rippin' set. As is the case when Seaweed plays, people jump up and down along with the guys in the band, and we went along for the ride on this night, as well. One of the best shows we've seen in Seattle.

And ... Minor Threat

Avengers from 2009/Seattle


  1. That "Bretts New One" on the Bad Religion set is this song.

    They've only played it one or 2 times, and it never made it as an actual song. In the actual full bootleg of that show Greg says something like "This is Brett's new song"

  2. Thanks, sir! That was a long time ago ... great gig.

  3. Nevermind, apparently the one in the youtube link is "Gregs New Song". According to Jay Bentley(bassist of BR), he doesn't remember what Bretts New One was

  4. Six degree's of separation. I was at The Circle Jerks, 999, Wasted Youth show at Florentine Gardens (my second gig ever). What a Bloodbath. I remember the bouncers being extremely brutal to the punks.

    I missed the Zero Boys/Minor Threat show because my friends wanted to see Social Distortion & Bad Religion at the Whiskey instead. Months later they told me "Did you know Minor Threat played at Alpine Village?" I replied "Yeah, you assholes didn't want to go."

    I was also at the Venom & Raw Power shows as well. It was my third time seeing Raw Power in a two week span and the show was indeed amazing....

  5. Hey there! Battalion of saints were one of my favorite bands. As a matter of hact I was at the how featuring the setlist. Thank you for that piece of history.