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OFF! Kicks Ass at Bowery Ballroom NYC


5/30/12 18:13 Home On the sidewalk, I waited in the shadows, hiding from the rain for my buddy to meet me. I waited and watched a circle of fucked up maggots pass a crackly joint to waiting fingers. Inside it was different. We enjoyed The Coat Hangers and Brooklyn’s skate board intoxicated punks Cerebral Ballsy. The wait for OFF was short. Keith walked onto the stage with a short stack of set lists and taped the long sheets onto different sections of the stage. The rest of the band joined him. There was no opening music, no dramatic dimming of the lights. No curtains unveiling the band in their suits and ties, fuck no. Morris wore the same clothes when I saw him outside on the sidewalk and like a kid I asked for his autograph. He looked at me as if he was studying my face. Back to the show… he took the microphone and asked if anyone of the others played this venue. At that first strike of Panic Attack, I hurled my beer up high and towards the stage. It was a perfect shot – with precision and accuracy the cup was lofted into the warm air and became a perfect display of robust anger. The warm beer sprayed Keith Morris who hung his head as if in shame, waiting for the impact, the shower of pungent beer and spit washed over him. He kicked my beer cup off to the side. OFF! Played the Bowery Ballroom to a sold out audience. He told the audience it was a waste to toss beer onto the stage, instead we should enjoy it. This was the place where punk erupted from the floor, from the middle aged punks to the skinny teens we raged in collective power as the man almost 60 years-old beat us down with more energy than we could ever fathom. Stage dives were constant and the beating of my ribs into the stage barely ceased. From the front, I took some pictures and did not leave center stage. I watched a brunette get flung onto the stage and lay there for a second till SHE caught her breath and wits and dived back into the crowd. There were others like the yellow shirt middle age mother fucker who took a couple shots to the head. What a mixture of old and young in the dark decrepit theatre we were one. There was hatred in the pit, the black guy with DK shirt was about to get his ass kicked as we walked out into the humid night. As my buddy and I walked down Delancey with a set list and a drum stick, I saw another guy who stood next to me, must’ve been about my age and we high fived one another…we still got it…we are still strong. The show was less than an hour, but was well worth the sacrifice of lost sleep. OFF! Is playing in Brooklyn in July. You need to see them. Enjoy the pictures.

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