Dave Barton - The Outlets
Chris Doherty, of Gang Green, had a medical issue
in October of 2017. He recovered from that and had a triumphant return at the
Father’s Too show at the Baseball Tavern in June of 2018. Then he
did a wild show at the C
Note in Hull in August. Chris used those two shows to celebrate the totality
of Boston punk by playing covers that spanned its history. They were some of
the best shows of 2018 and his influence on Boston hardcore is pivotal. But
unfortuntely Chris then had a stroke in late 2018.
The hardcore community come together to help n a big way:
Not A Wasted Night: A Benefit for Chris Doherty of Gang Green, organized
by Sean McNally, seemed to grow in scope and importance as
the day of the show got closer.
Sean and various band members were on radio shows like Bay State Rock
with Carmelita and The Late Risers Club with
Joanie Lindstrom, it also got mentioned a few times on Bradley
Jay's show on WBZ. It seemed like every print media outlet and every
local website had an article. That resulted in a sold out Paradise, a club that
doesn’t have that many shows like this anymore.
We got there at 6:30, when the club still had open space...by 8:30 it was packed.
Sean took to the stage at the beginning of the night and said 'this is what
is called Hardcore Healthcare.'
New guys Worm were the first up. This was the first time a
lot of people had seen Worm. We’ve seen them a few times but in small
clubs like PA’s
Lounge so it was gratifying to see them take the imposing Paradise stage
and put in the best set we’ve seen them do yet. Most of their songs make
political points that did not go unnoticed and gave their set some heft. Their
material went over well. Mikke Worm was taking full advantage
of the stage and you could see where he takes points from those bands that later
filled the stage. Worm also switched singers every now and then and that is
a democratic move that seems modern.
Just one of the many perks of the night was to see a rare Unnatural
Axe set. They added Fritz from Band 19 to
add some extra guitar power and they did two Band 19 songs.
The Axe looked fabulous up on that stage with the professional lights and sound.
Richie’s voice is better than ever with his constant
shows with his pop material. The set was only way too short. There were just
so many Axe songs we wanted to hear.
The Dogmatics have been doing shows for a while now always
bringing back the good feelings of the Thayer Street era. They played with Chris
at the C Note in August. Dogmatics are sort of a loose garage punk sound but
they were adopted by the hardcore crowd from the beginning. The Dogs wrote that
pointed “Hardcore Rules” and they played that along with “Sister
Serena” “Gimme the Shakes”, “Drinking by the Pool”
and DMZ’s “Ball Me Out”. The highlight is always “Thayer
Street” a paean of that time and place that seems almost magical now.
It seems like a wonderful gift to have groups like The Dogmatics
and Unnatural Axe still playing. That means if anyone
was not there back in the day they can still hear what it was like and
that brings us to the Outlets who have played sporadically through the
years. The last time was the Hometown
Throwdown 2015. Before that it was 2009
at the Church. Before that it was 2008 also at Church at the Unnatural
Axe’s 40th Anniversary. One year before that it was Carmelita’s
20th Anniversary of Bay State Rock and the LRC 30th Anniversary
All of those times were shows that completely justified the reputation The
Outlets have of being the best unheralded band in Boston history. They
did at the Paradise what they did on those past shows; they come out full of
pent up energy that they seem to be desperately driven to expel during the set.
There is some higher level that they aspire to and do actually get to.
What did they raise those Barton brothers on? Get me some of that!! Dave is
all emotional energy and Rick is the music muscle. This was the original Outlets
line up. And as much as the Barton brothers get attention it was drummer Walter
Gustafson whose name was getting thrown around after the set. He’s
got his own fan base. Some of the songs were, “Sheila”, “Best
Friend” and “Eddy”.
One of the big joys of the night was that Chris Doherty was
there. He was in a wheelchair and moved from side to the front area to view
the bands. Dave Barton talked to him during the set and that was a nice moment.
It’s always special when Springa shows up. He’s
a high maintenance party animal. He’s had benefits of his own to help
with health issues so this was also a case of payback for him. He played with
Doherty at the C Note last August. He’s living in Chicago now and this
time he brought his band The Sonic Droogs with him. Joanie
played one of his songs on her show Thursday and it was very good. The Droogs
are a good foil for Springa, they are loud and can put some different spins
on some old genres. All very interesting to hear as Springa stalked the stage.
They got in one SSD song.
Then it was the newer phenomenon called White Dynomite. Never
has their stage shtick seemed so genius than at this show. As the rock world
dons black clothes they wear pure white. They seemed to glow. It seemed like
heavy metal from heaven. They started with their theme song “White Dynomite”
and it seemed like they could do no wrong.
At this point it was hard even moving around and the front of the stage was
dense with enthused fans. We moved back but we totally understood the frenzy.
These were exciting bands pounding out sets, one after another. It never let
up. Group after group raised the bar. Everyone on stage seemed to have something
to prove and everyone on the floor was intent on soaking up every loving minute
The FU's were next. After that Evan Dando was supposed to
play but Jerry’s Kids did a set instead. Then it was
Skate to Hell, Tree and finally Slapshot.
John Keegan took over the camera duties and his pics are in the slideshow below.
Facebook is plastered with photos and vids that show the blissed out
bands and audience. Here's the FB
page for the show. And here is a great in depth article from WBUR
by Jim Sullivan.
It was a night that meant so much on different levels. It was an insane amount
of music by so many bands. It was an awesome fund raiser for Chris Doherty.
It also was a display of the whole Boston hardcore scene. It showed its strength
now and the depth of talent it’s had from the beginning. It was a gathering
of people who have been plugging away since 1980. Hardcore fought for attention
and access from everybody, including established punks. In 1986 Chris
Doherty’s Gang Green won the WBCN Rumble which was a watershed
moment for hardcore when people could no longer dismiss or ignore it.
It was a noble moment for hardcore to step up and do all they could do for
Chris. Thanks so much to Sean McNally.
More Not A Wasted Night photos
below the show listings.
So much happened at the Not a Wasted Night benefit that it seemed it would
take a week to get over it but we were at Once on Saturday. Smitt E.
Smitty had a lineup that was similar to the one he had at his album
release party last summer. He had his band, The Gala,
Gene Dante and the Future Starlets and instead of Parlour Bells he
had Tiger Bomb from Portland, Me.
We missed Smitt E. Smitty’s band who went on first. We were there in
time for whole set by The Gala. Like other Gala shows, we saw
people become instant fans. The combination of music and Emily's
antics on stage get you one way or another. John Surette was
there (he was also at Wasted Nights show) and we saw him become smitten with
the bad at a Midway show last year.
Chris (guitar), Justin (bass) and Emily
(vocals) were in constant motion, especially Emily who has stage moves
like no one else. The songs gave her plenty to act out. She’s
a punk drama queen and one of the reasons you have to see this band,
as well as hear them.
Dave on drums was strong and gave things a needed
anchor. Rebecca tended to be overlooked as the stage
antics go on beside her but her whirling keyboards are an identifying
sound of the band.
It’s only been a year since they got our attention but they have worked
hard in that year to make a name for themselves. They have an album on the way
and that should be another opportunity for them.
Gene Dante and the Future Starlets
Gene Dante and the Future Starlets have a solid identity.
They are Bowie style glam. Like The Gala they make their mark visually and musically.
The band did a short intro as Gene did his theatrical entrance…in a black
pleather bodysuit. It was half cat woman, half Elvis and totally outrageous.
During the set he had the moves and poses to take complete advantage
of his outfit.
Gene Dante and the Future Starlets
We know a lot of the songs now, but we still forget how instantly classic they
all sound. The band is top notch all around and know how to detail the songs
to give them that glam shimmer. Vocally Gene goes to that dramatic power ballad
tone, often in the chorus, that fits the lyrics like a glove.
When he does that in songs like: “The Love Letter Is Dead”, “We
Are All Whores” and “Hand Me Your Razors” his voice wraps
around those words and it becomes a moment you remember. He and the band have
been doing this since 2009 when they got lots of attention in the Rock and Roll
Rumble. They ended up with what is one of their best, “A Madness to his
After those two expressive bands it was a switch up to come to Tiger
Bomb's more traditional approach. To say they play garage rock is to fall
short,Tiger Bomb embodies garage rock. They seemed
like a normal band of this sort… if the year was 1965. At times it seems
like the stage is a movie set and you are the audience in a movie, which is
all pretty cool.
They have the cool sound, they have the look and they have the knack of writing
the songs. The background vocals were interesting. Some of them had even a fifties
feel to them.
Mitch from Triple Thick made it his duty
to show up to catch them and we heard others say the same. They get to Boston
every now and then. We will make it a point to catch them more this year.
More band photos below the show listings.
And in other news.....
Rock and Roll Refugee is a musical based on the life
of Genya Raven. The musical "follows Ravan’s journey
from struggling immigrant to rock and roll sensation." It's at Royal Family
Performing Arts Space, Times Square NYC, through February 16, 2016. Read a lot
more about it on theasy.com
In case you missed it - We did our BGN
Yearly Review . As part of that we posted a few things on our Facebook page
that are not on the site here so it’s a good idea to hit
our Facebook page to see those posts.
Also a reminder to bands out there: Club Bohemia at the Cantab
is back in action. They are actively looking for bands so all you bands out
there, contact them and get a show!! This is a wonderful turn of fate. Mickey
Bliss is still doing thebooking. Contact them on Facebook at Club Bohemia.
Same goes for the revamped Tavern at the End of the World
- so contact Natalie Flanagan on Facebook about shows there!
Here's some good shows coming up this week.....
January 17 (Thursday) The next Buy
Me Boston book event is at the Boston Public Library 6-8 PM Here's
January 17 (Thursday) Boston Emissions
presents: PowerSlut, Stars Like Ours, Dark Wheels at Once Somerville.
January 18 (Friday) Tsunami of
Sound, Keytar Bear, The Chelsea Curve and Little Billy Lost
at Sally O'Brien's in Somerville.
January 18 (Friday) The Imposers,
The Radiator Rattlers, Tigerman Woah, Graneros at The Worthen Attic
January 18 (Friday) Billy Connors
Project, Stigmatics,Thigh Scrapers at Koto in Salem.
January 19 (Saturday) A Crash Course
For The Ravers show has BAABES in to chat and spin
tracks. 1pm to 4pm WMFO 91.5FM (http://www.wmfo.org/popout_player.php?bitrate=256)
January 19 (Saturday) The Gobshites,
Time Out Timmy, Mongorellis, Punk Band, and Jimmy Jacked at
the Midway for a 3-7PM show.
January 19 (Saturday) Nat Freedberg,
Watts, Justine and the Unclean, Duck & Cover at Once Somerville
January 19 (Saturday) 77 Everythings,
Rolling Stony, Thee Fightin' Fish- Club Boho
January 19 (Saturday) Franklin’s
Birthday Bash at Hotel Vernon w/ MK & The Morning Afters, Origin
Story, Coffin Salesman, Chris Murray and more - only $5!!!
January 20 (Sunday) Midwinter
MessAround at the Plough 4-6PM Check out the FB
page for who is playing.
January 25 (Saturday) Stoploss,
Step 13, Sonic Libido, State Of The Union at The Thirsty First Tavern
And further out we have......
January 29 (Tuesday) Richard Lloyd
solo show at City Winery Boston
January 29 (Tuesday) Gutter Demons,
The Evil Streaks, and Diablogato at Shaskeen Pub Manchester,
February 1 (Friday) Kid Gulliver,
The Knock Ups and Muck and the Mires at Sally O'Brien's
February 1 (Friday) The Cryptics,
The FUs, Secret Spirit, Triggered at UnchARTed in Lowell.
February 2 (Saturday) Welch Boys
Annual Ron Holbrook Memorial Show - proceeds go to The Pine Street
Inn...featuring The Welsh Boys, Ice Cold Killers, Blue Bloods
and Rockin' Bob Punk Band...at Great Scott.
February 2 (Saturday) Benefit for the MSPCA
Boston Adoption Center with Electric Street Queens, Hobo Chili, BINMEN,
Dance With Leland, Inconvenience Store 3-7PM the Midway
February 2 (Saturday) Art Thieves,
Bundles, Stolen Wheelchairs, Blatch at the Midway 8PM show
February 2 (Saturday) The Natty
D’s, Satch, CE Skidmore, Garbage Point at the Thirsty First Tavern
February 8 (Friday) Hey Zeus
Record Release & Listening Party (Argonauta Records) with Motherboar,
Cocked N Loaded, Labor Hex at Once Somerville.
February 8 (Friday)
Murphy's Law at the Middle East
February 9 (Saturday) Thee Fightin'
Fish, Club Linehan A Go Go, The Billy Connors Project, and Paul
Caporino of M.O.T.O. at The MIdway for a matinee show 3-7PM
February 9 (Saturday) Pajama Slave Dancers
with special guests Big Bad Bollocks and Gymnasium Night time show at The Midway
February 9 (Saturday) Lux Lives
East Coast 2019 with The Evil Streaks, Jittery Jack & Amy
Griffin, Hambone Skinny - and DJ Kogar the Swinging Ape
playing Lux and Ivy's Favorites all night long!at Opus Underground Salem
February 16 (Saturday) Stop Calling
Me Frank, A Bunch of Jerks, The Knock Ups, and Tsunami of Sound
are at The Midway for a matinee show 3-7PM.
February 16 (Saturday) 2019 Dana-Farber
Marathon Challenge Rock 'n' Roll Benefit Show with Sidewalk Driver,
Slim Jim and the Mad Cows, and Red Red Rockit! Night
itme show at The Midway
February 16 (Saturday) The Chills
are at The Middle East Up moved to Feb 20 - ME DOWN.
February 16 (Saturday) DNZL, Flatlager,
Loser’s Circle, KCUF at The Midway for a matinee show 3-7PM
February 19 (Tuesday) Gang Of
Four at Once Ballroom!
February 20 (Wednesday) The Chills are
at The Middle East DOWN.
February 23 (Saturday) JPx
(John Powhida) and Nat Freedberg's Devil Rockin' Band at Union
Tavern which is what used to be PA's Lounge in Union Square Somerville.
February 23 (Saturday) Kid Gulliver,
Circus Trees & The Hi-End at Out of the Blue Gallery
March 2 (Saturday) Robin Lane &
The Chartbusters CD Release Show. its at The Burren
March 9 (Saturday)
The Gala, Muck and The Mires, The Evil Streaks, Baabes
at O'Brien's - wow that is a GREAT line up!!
March 23 (Saturday) Tigerman Woah,
Cactus Attack, Coffin Salesman, Nick The Barbarian at Opus Underground
May 24 (Friday) The Undertones
at Once Ballroom
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MC Dave Tree
Gene Dante and the Future Starlets