924 Gilman, Berkeley, California
May 22, 2010
Prior to the show, Whenwedie and Umlaut committed the Gilman Punk sin of eating quality food and drinking quality beer across the street at the evil Pyramid Brewery. Sorry kidz, but Pyramid makes going to Gilman WAY better than back in The Day... and now your parents have a place to wait for you while you're at the Punk Rock show so they can drive you home. An added bonus tonight was running into an old Lock 'N Loll Merch colleague at Pyramid who I hadn't seen in a couple of years (Hey Taralynn!).
I had not stepped inside of Gilman in YEARS; it's so clean and well-lit now. For the record, Gilman was never Umlaut's scene and I've only been there a few times... but it was cool visiting a local venue that was outside of my regular places. Evidently Jello had been there the night before; I wonder if any cheeky pimply-faced Punk called him a fag? It's cute how the Punk Kidz have a "straight edge" concession stand set up inside:
Bottled Water & Soda – .75 cents
Snapple, Juice Squeeze, Hansons, Apple Juice, Kerns, Orange Juice – $1.00
Monster, Rockstar, Diet Rockstar – $2.00
Organic Bean Burrito – $1.75
Red Vines, Tootsie Pops, “Cheap Gum” – .25 cents
Candy Bars, Danish, Chips, Nuts, Gum, Pop Tarts – .75 cents
Cliff Bars, Trio Bars, Luna Bars, Balance Bars – $1.00
Cute, right? No adults allowed! However, the menu raises a couple of issues:
- I know Gilman is a straight edge venue... BUT caffeine is the world's most popular drug...
- I know only politically correct indie label bands can play Gilman ...BUT Rockstar energy drink is owned by the son of ultraconservative and homophobic radio host Michael Savage. Click HERE for more on this..
Walls (the band... not the room..) seemed to take forever to set up and I couldn't help but stereotype them as older Punk guys with angst on their shoulders. I don't know, man... Umlaut has never been a Punk or pretended to be a Punk. Walls (the band... not the room..) were alright in that skitchy Punk angst sort of way... I guess. Anyway, the Punk Kidz seemed to like them... and that's all that matters... and I did notice that the band members were wearing matching Adidas Sambas. Is that Punk Rock?
In between bands we chatted with Old Metal Scaparro... and he and I did our usual "Kidz These Days Don't Know" / "Back In My Day" sidewalk rant as the Punk Rock youngsters pretended to ignore us. Trivia: Scaparro was with Umlaut the only time I've been handcuffed by cops. True story.
Iron Lung definitely had the Punk Kidz excited and there was some decent crowd action during their set. However, the band were the perfect example of how clueless Umlaut is about much of the Gilman Scene. Iron Lung are a guitar / drums-only band and I was annoyed by how much they sounded like Black Cobra; watching them was like being in an alternate universe. It was an alternate universe where Black Cobra didn't have a legitimate guitar tone and the drums sounded tinny... and the songs weren't as good... and the drummer tried to be a smartass Punk between every song. It was only afterwards that I was informed that Iron Lung predates Black Cobra by a couple of years. Hmmm.... Interesting.. but I have to say I prefer *my* universe where Black Cobra is the band.
I wish Star Trek was still in production... because Umlaut's alternate universe episode would have a kick ass soundtrack... Make it so.
Compared to their Punk Rock bill mates, Saviours seemed like grown ups as they quickly set up their gear in a way that only a seasoned touring band can. They also brought a legitimate guitar tone and bottom end to Gilman. As The Longhairs took the stage I was curious to see what kind of reaction they would get. I have to say that seeing the Saviours in an all-ages, straight edge venue was less than ideal, especially since the last time I saw Saviours they had been an unstoppable alcohol-fueled funny car of Rock. I was amused watching the Punk Kidz trying to figure out if they should like Saviours or not. While the reaction was polite, no substantial crowd action developed.. but Umlaut's favorite Saviour's song 'Acid Hand' did kick in as the 2nd song of the night... and I have to believe that Scott's maniac drumming must have scared some of the Punk Kidz because his pounding was particularly off the chain tonight.
Motörhead shirts = 1. If you bought one of every Saviours merch item you would have paid around $60. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. All in all it was a routine Lock 'N Loll night and Umlaut rolled back into Casa de Umlaut just before midnight. La dee da..