The Palladium, Worcester
Cherie Currie BAGLY Benefit
First up Citizen Wine Bar. It's right around the corner from the Palladium. Go with the not exactly punk cheese board (Oma - Soft, VT, Organic Cow wrapped in rind is roll your eyes delicious) and the charcuterie plate. There is a cigar bar at one end of the building with a diverse, stuffed walk-in humidor if you get there early.
The Palladium is hoppin' with leather, denim, studs, skinheads and Mohawks. Agnostic Front pump out some old school agro punk. They remind the crowd that there are plenty of political reasons to be pissed off and to channel it into the music and the pit.
Andrew H. schools me on American Nightmare's Boston roots, legal issue that resulted in a name change to Give Up the Ghost and the fact that they were a pretty big thing - still are with few and far between gigs. The crowd made that apparent the second AN hit the stage. They played the fast grind leaving the NY streets and politics to AF and refreshing the crowd's collective memory with Wes Eisold's more personal lyrics and AN's darker, faster, pulverizing screed and howl. Now that is some brutal local hardcore. The pit is a relentless meat grinder fueled by flailing guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Little to nothing to hope for. Little to nothing over three minutes.
Cock Sparrer break the tension with repeated blasts of catchy as hell British working class coulda, woulda shoulda been hits. CS were Oi! before the term got coined. These guys are not afraid of early English punk guitars and a verse and chorus lurking in a dark alleyway - especially if they promote a raised glass and a solidarity singalong. They hit on The Riot Squad, the ripped Working the tender Tough Guys and the now ironic What's it Like to Be Old and Because You're Young. At the end they declare We're Coming Back. Good.
Cherie Currie was in Boston to play a benefit for BAGLY - The Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian and Transgender Youth. The enthusiastic crowd of a hundred or so people at Brighton Music Hall is thinner than one would hope for such a good cause and a strong bill. Currie is in fine voice. The band is way on top of things. The bass player is tight and adds backup vocals. The lead player has the look and the sound. The drummer kicks hard and keeps the funked up version of Lou Reed's Rock n' Roll in its pocket. They're almost too good - but that would be a quibble. Currie was a drug counselor in one of her former lives. She tears up for a moment during a heart-felt story tying her experience to the kids lucky enough to be involved with Bagly. Everyone gets a welcome dose of The Runaways catalog. Kudos to Gene Dante for putting it together. The set list is in the pictures.