Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fully accepting a Negative Approach

Intense -- Negative Approach's John Brannon. (All Andy photos)

By Andy

Ah, the wonderful feeling of having a stage diver's boot nail you in the back of the neck.

And there it is again. Another punk arrows toward you, feet first and clips your ear. (The ears were already being pummeled because I was standing near the PA speakers, so no biggie there.)

But that's the price you pay for getting up close to watch Detroit powerhouse Negative Approach, right? Parts of your body and eardrums will be pulsating and ringing in the morning, but who cares? --- it's NA, god dammit.

Oh yeah, your voice, too, will be sore from participating in the gang vocals, but "if that's what it takes, we're ready to fight," as in plowing your way up front to get the job done.

Before gravel-voiced, hard-staring vocalist John Brannon and crew took the stage on Wednesday night at Chop Suey in Seattle, I told my friend, Tim, that I'd probably take it easy off to the side of the stage and get some pics and video in the "safe zone." However, once the band started, there was no hiding from the mayhem -- a massive slam pit erupted and it was every man and woman for themselves. (And like any wild gig, things get unbuckled, literally … What did I just step on? Oh, there's someone's belt. A stray shoe?… yes, there was one of those, too.)

I told Tim that when I was younger, I'd wedge my way through the crowd to be up front and participate in some vocal action with my favorite bands like Minor Threat, the Misfits and more. I would not be denied some microphone time with Ian MacKaye and Glenn Danzig … just try and stop me.

Maybe not tonight, I said to Tim, as we both chuckled.

Ron Sakowski, Harold Richardson and Brannon.

But once NA started, there I was, instinctively barreling my way toward the front, pushing a few people out of the way, dodging stage divers (most of the time) and yelling out lyrics with the rest of the crowd.

It was like old times, just the way it should be.

(Beth and Nickle were also part of our formidable NA crew.... Unfortunately, Cat couldn't make the gig, because she was "sick with flu, sick with flu, don't cough on me at all." Yeah, I had to stick an NA reference in there, taking liberties with the lyrics, of course.)



  1. awesome... they were great in 2010 here in Boston (and, uh, 1982)

  2. It was my first time seeing them. Stellar. -- Andy