Show Review: Cro-Mags/DRI

Uh, the Cro-Mags are playing? Sign me up. A big bonus for this show was that DRI was also playing (and headlining, not that it really matters). I drove up to Sayerville on a rainy, rotten evening that made me feel miserable as I made my way up the Parkway. I left late, hoping to miss the openers, but I ended up getting lost in the actual town of Sayerville, which killed another 20 minutes or so. The venue’s website said it was “easy” to get to the venue, but despite that I could not find my supposed exit off Route 9. I don’t think it exists. I ended up pulling into a Walgreens and loading up Google Maps turn by turn voice navigation, which got me to the show in about five minutes. I love that app. I would probably have a lot more hair, and a lot less gray, if we had that in the nineties. Have you ever broken down crying because of shitty directions? I have. Three times. That I can remember.

I got to the venue just as an unknown band was finishing their set. I said hello to a few friends, and some former students, and generally wandered around the venue, which a big “rock club” type place. Blah. Barricades aren’t very “Cro-Mag,” folks.

Suddenly, I saw Craig Ahead and then Mackie on stage. After a few minutes of tuning, something very familiar happened: the lights went out and the theme from A Clockwork Orange began playing. My brain went still and I actually sort of freaked out a little bit. This one time I was dating a young lady who wanted to watch that movie and after the theme played I sat their brooding because the fucking Cro-Mags weren’t playing. Why didn’t Harley come crashing into her room and start playing World Peace? She just didn’t understand, and nor did a lot of the crowd, who stood there looking rather confused. The band came out and they blasted into We Gotta Know.

I went up front to sing along and actually got shoved back by someone? The fuck? Seriously? This is why it is such bullshit when bands like the Cro-Mags play they poser rock venues. You get lots of turds who just don’t get it. Wah, did I violate your precious space in front of some bouncer? Boo fucking hoo. The band blasted through about 10 songs, including two Bad Brains’ covers and ended with Hard Times.

I slipped over to the side of the stage with some friends to watch DRI. I was happy to see Spike with them and wished I could have reconnected with him. I wonder if he remembers the interview I did with him. DRI played for at least an hour and blasted through songs from all of their records. The pit was moving pretty good, but the most amusing part was a lot of bebs, including a few of my former students, turning evading bouncers to dive into a sport. DRI sort of encouraged them, which was awesome, and by the end of the night a lot of kids were diving. The bouncers roughed up a few kids, but that is what happens when bands play these venues. I don’t like a lot of DRI stuff after Dealing With It, but the band was pretty tight and raged hard. The set was long, but I would check them out again.

After some quick goodbyes, I headed home. I think these bands can find better venues to play.