Concert halls, bars, basements and other dingy venues are beginning to shake and shimmy with the sounds of rebellion again. Canadian punk legends D.O.A. hit Maxwell’s in Waterloo on Sept. 22, and it was a helluva good time.
The southern Ontario music scene is close-knit, almost to the point of incestuous breeding of bands. The first opener was a great example of this. Blackout! Singer Jan emphasized an exclamation mark at the end of the name to mark the energy.
Blackout! has an all-star pulled from the talent pool of Canadian punk rock and heavy metal mainstays Dirty Bird, The Rotten, The Nasties and Maximum RNR.
The performance that opened up the night ripped with the confidence of abrasive performers with a long history of stepping on stages and loving the art of performance. These guys will be a joy to see knocking the shit out of the songs for years to come.
The Anti-Queens have their rock n’ roll extravaganza perfectly crafted to get the audience going with call and response, band members scattering from the stage to leave drummer Zoë McMillan alone rocking a drum solo ala Neil Peart.
The Anti-Queens put the rock in punk rock, and they kept the energy flowing for the audience.
Then Canada’s hardcore punk pioneers D.O.A. brought their signature sounds to the gathered punks who witnessed the action, and remember, folks, talk minus action equals zero. The set celebrating over 40 years since the release of the seminal album Hardcore ’81 was seeped in the 70s and early 80s.
Although newer band mates surround Joe “Shithead” Keithley, the drive to deliver the D.O.A. message is still strong, and the energy is still there. Keithley may be a politician now, but he is still capable of delivering the goods when the world needs a middle-fingers-in-the-air ‘fuck you’ response, as he proved with an encore which included a vital version of the classic “Fuck You” by the Subhumans, or is it D.O.A.’s? See, what did I tell you? Punk rock scenes are so close-knit that they are almost incestuous when they give birth to the art.
By the way, I realize Gerry Hannah wrote that song, but you get the point. It’s a close community, and it’s good to be seeing old friends as pandemic restrictions loosen up. Even the anti-social folks have missed some contact.
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