The Damned Things Do The Damn Thing

Crack Pie

Posted: 05/10/2019 | Views: 970


I don't like going to shows anymore.

I know I’m supposed to lie about the Fountain of Youth-like powers of loud guitars and crashing cymbals, but I don’t feel it anymore. It’s a shameful confession for a lifelong fan of all things loud, heavy and exciting, but I’m being honest. There’s the drink prices, the constant search for a place to sit, trying to communicate over the music, and the other people...so many other awful fucking people. So it takes something genuinely exciting, like the recently re-invigorated supergroup, The Damned Things, to get me to leave my house after 8pm on a Monday night.

My wife and I arrived at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA towards the tail end of a well received set from He Is Legend. I can’t say I’m the most familiar with their material, but plenty of the people in the crowd clearly were. Unfortunately, by the time we bought two $300 beers and found an open spot near the main floor, they were about done.

Crobot were up next and if I’m being honest, the first band I intended to watch for the evening. Ironically, I’ve attended Crobot headlined shows in the past, and left after the openers played. This time I paid attention! It was hard not too with the super shiny sequined jacket of singer Brandon Yeagley, and I’m glad I did. Yeagley is a top notch performer and has an impressive live vocal performance that most singers can’t touch. Crobot have a quality reputation and rightfully so. They precisely ran through their set and even though I wasn’t previously familiar with much of their material, they made the never ending search for a spot to sit, a lot more entertaining.

The wait for a headliner is always a special kind of pain in the dick. So we sucked back a couple more $800 beers and poached a spot on the balcony to watch guitar techs bang on instruments and sit stuff here, then there, then back over there. Those balcony spots on the railing are prime real estate by the way, so when we saw an opening we grabbed it. Sensing danger, the woman to our left sacrificed our personal space while grasping onto the railing like the Ultimate Warrior for the entire ten minutes her bestie ditched her to smoke a couple menthols. An admirable display of loyalty, but the encroachment barely registers two notches above pissing on the spot to mark her territory. Regardless, we had our view and The Damned Things were ready to come out to play.

Turn the clock back fifteen years and I have seen singer Keith Buckley on this stage several times with Every Time I Die. Maybe they would still play here, but I’m pretty sure this is too small of a stage for Anthrax, Fall Out Boy, and Alkaline Trio. Yet here they were, members of each band, in front of a backdrop that I’m pretty sure was supposed to be a gas can, but looked like a crumpled up juice box, as The Damned Things. Initially, the energy wasn’t there, but by the time they started playing “Omen” off of their recently released, High Crimes, Scott Ian was stomping around the stage and Buckley had his trademark swagger back.

I am admittedly late to the game with The Damned Things, so I was a little lost on songs from their debut album Ironiclast, which took up about half of their set, but they were performed like there has not been a nine year gap between releases. There’s a certain intangible in the proficiency and professionalism of career musicians that all of these band members possess, that made their performance rather seamless. They also managed to sound much heavier in a live setting which may be a bit of a disappointment for fans coming from the Fall Out Boy/Alkaline Trio side, but not so much for those into Every Time I Die/Anthrax. If you need proof, just ask all the people that watched the entire show on their smartphone screens! You could also check with the two douchebags who spent the entire set trying to mosh like they were at This Is Hardcore Fest.

The Damned Things put on a damned good show and it was evident by the reactions in the room. They clearly have a broad audience and other than a few dumb eggs, most of those fans seemed to love it. It wasn’t profound, and it wasn’t the most exciting or dramatic show I’ve ever been to, but it was certainly worth the $15,000 bar tab and a tired Tuesday at work.




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