Slim's, San Francisco
July 16, 2012
It's been almost a year to the day since Trash Talk last played in San Francisco and the band is still banned from playing Gilman Street because I guess they attract too rowdy of a crowd. That's pretty ironically Punk, right? Not Metal. After some awesome pre-show libations and food at 21st Amendment we few, we happy few, headed over to Slim's. However, once we arrived inside the venue we looked at each other and collectively said "Uhhh... I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
Opening the night was Hip-Hop artist SpaceGhostPurrp who I have no clue about. Although we missed his set, some pounding Hip-Hop was blasting out of the PA to warm up the crowd and the crowd was warming up nicely. It should go without saying that I was one, if not THE, oldest person in the crowded confines of Slim's and the show's warm up music was not my thing at all. That being said, the kidz who packed the room obviously grew up on Hip-Hop AND Punk and I can't remember the last time I was in a room waiting for the band where the energy level was so thick in the air and things felt ready to go *off* at any moment.
The Punk / Hip-Hop crossover bill confused some people, but as Lee of Trash Talk said onstage later in the night (I'm paraphrasing..):
"When was the last time you saw a Hip-Hop act with a Punk band?! This shit needs to happen more often. It gets boring seeing the same band with the same bands!"
Since I'm old I forget that there's a younger generation (or two at this point) who grew up listening to indie and underground Punk and Rap music that made them see things outside of the mainstream. I get it.
As Trash Talk took the stage at around 10:00pm, we knew it was going to be an epic set when the pit action started up during the initial drum beat of the first song... and when Trash Talk launched into the opening song it was non-stop, all-Hell-is-breaking-loose for the next 50 minutes or so. Kudos need to go out to the Slim's staff for letting the kidz stage dive without any restrictions. The energy level was off the scale as the Slim's staff just let the crowd and band do their thing... and it was literally a constant wave of bodies flowing across and off the stage for the rest of the night. Awesome.
The song 'Explode' found Lee (vox, hair, attitude) in the crowd... and before 'Hash Wednesday', he instructed the kidz down front to all "take a breather" and sit down... which they did... and which lasted for the slow burn intro of the song... until the song kicked into high gear and the crash of humanity started all over again. Awesome.
Mosh pits are a dime a dozen these days, so it was nice to be around one that was genuinely scary. The number of bodies flying off the stage was a blur and the pit action was controlled brutality of the highest order. It was nice to be in a room with a band and a crowd who were "as one" from the first drum beat of the first song and embroiled each other in a genuinely collective mayhem that is rare these days. Not to sound like an old fart, but Trash Talk are an essential band to see NOW... because bands simply can't sustain their kind of energy and chaos forever. Hope I die before I get old.
For the set's finale, Lee instructed the kidz down front to charge towards the back of the club in a reverse Wall Of Death... but he made a point of warning them not to hurt the Mom of Garrett (guitar) who was standing back there. As the song started a hundred kidz came rushing at us like the Bulls of Pamplona... DOH! Thankfully I avoided getting taken down by the tidal wave of kidz... but I think Photo Ray caught a palm to the face. Punk! This was easily one of the best shows of the year so far and Trash Talk are the best band to ever come out of Sacramento (Sorry Tesla...).
I got distracted and didn't do a merch audit. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. According to the Umlaut Archives this was the 75th time I've been inside Slim's to see a band dating back to when it first opened in 1988... and the first show I saw there was Maria McKee, the former singer of the Country Rock band Lone Justice... a band I was crazy about after I dropped out of the original Bay Area Metal Scene. From Country Rock back to Punk in 2 dozen years... Again, I hope I die before I get old.
All photos courtesy of Sensory Abuse's iPhone.