The Metro Operahouse, Oakland, California
September 14, 2014
This was one of the few shows that could get me out of Casa de Umlaut to drive across The Bay Bridge to down 'n dirty West Oakland on a Sunday night. The night before I had attended and sat through the entire 9 innings of a historic 17-0 (!?) Giants loss to the fucking Dodgers; it was the worst shut out loss in the Giants 131 year history!! Awful... The only positive was seeing manager Bruce Bochy handing the ball to his pitcher son in the 6th Inning. It was the first time a manager father has ever brought his pitcher son into a game in the 145 year history of Major League Baseball!! That was mind blowing amazing...but the good feeling did not last long as young Bochy quickly gave up a 2 run HR to the fucking Dodgers. So after that traumatic baseball experience I needed a G.B.H.-style 'Give Me Fire' cleansing. Anyway... enough about sports.
G.B.H. are one of my all-time favorite bands and they still deliver. I know there are many who haven't seen them since back in The Day (aka The 80's). Hear me now and believe me later: G.B.H. here in the 21st Century are as great as you can expect a 30+ year old band to be. They're still 3/4 of the original lineup... and the "newest" member is the drummer who has been with the band for almost 20 years now. Solid.
As an added bonus on this 17-city North American Tour, the lads from Birmingham opened their set by playing the seminal release Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne front to back. Yes, it was a Sunday night but it was inspiring to see a nice attendance... but I was surprised that not a lot of G.B.H. fans from the Metal side of the tracks were in attendance this time. However, there was a young "Punk" wearing an Accept shirt... but it was a Metal Heart tee.. (cue slapping forehead with palm of hand).. Uhhh... Ooookaay. Poser.
Verbal Abuse were a late addition to the bill and a very pleasant surprise. The addition of these local legends ratcheted the anticipation level up in my head pre-show and I could not remember the last time I had even thought about Verbal Abuse.. but that's my loss because they completely delivered. Nope, I have not been paying attention, but evidently the band has been playing a few shows recently so if any more pop up the old schoolers reading this should check them out.
At one point in between bands I was chatting with another longtime G.B.H. fan who had not seen them since back in The Day. I didn't want to come off as too much of a gushing fanboy but what I did say to him was that G.B.H. would make him feel 18 years old again.. and I left it at that... Confident that the band would not make me look like an old fool.
I need not have worried! I did indeed feel 18-years old again as G.B.H. walked onstage for their triumphant return to The Bay Area after almost a 2 1/2 year break. I was bummed that the people who I saw G.B.H. with in 1985 weren't at the show.. Number of drinks thrown at the stage during the first 1 1/2 songs = 4. Umlaut can be a very jaded mofo... so I surprised even myself when I instinctively raised my fist in the air to sing along during the double shot of 'City Baby Attacked By Rats' into 'City Baby's Revenge'. "... Attacked by rats!"..... "Revenge!!"
My fave bullet from the past tonight was 'Drugs Party In 526'... but the set became one of my favorite shows of the year when the band threw in the riff to 'Black Sabbath' as the intro to 'Sick Boy'! Birmingham Pride in full effect! It's the little things.. Nice, right?! On a night like this... with a band like G.B.H. onstage.. the Oakland Metro is the closest thing to Murder In The Front Row Ruthie's Inn that you can experience here in the 21st Century.
If you bought one of every G.B.H. merch item you would have paid around $300 I think. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced punks called me a fag. A great night out... and I went to a G.B.H. show and bought a book instead of a t-shirt:
It's the autobiography of G.B.H. bassist Ross Lomas... and it's a fantastic read! Click HERE to find out more about it. The book is funny and entertaining and I had no idea it existed until the show. I bought it on the recommendation of a friend who bought it ahead of me (Thanks Scott!). Trivia: Longtime Metallica sound guy legend Big Mick features prominently in the book. I had no idea he was an early mate and sound guy for G.B.H.! Nice, right?