Circle Jerks / Trial By Fire

Circle Jerks/Trial By Fire: live in Minneapolislive in Minneapolis (2002)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: ZLNFTOCZLNFTOC
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I had never really been to a true "punk" show before. So upon hearing that the pioneers of California's first wave of punk would be playing at the Quest Main Stage, I decided to go. Unfortunately, the show itself was shifted to the Ascot Room, a substantially smaller setting. But it would only prov.

I had never really been to a true "punk" show before. So upon hearing that the pioneers of California's first wave of punk would be playing at the Quest Main Stage, I decided to go. Unfortunately, the show itself was shifted to the Ascot Room, a substantially smaller setting. But it would only provide a more intimate atmosphere as the Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Allies" played over the PA upon my arrival. While the nearly two hour wait for the Circle Jerks to perform would be hard to bear, it was ultimately worth it considering the opening band played quite well.

That band, Trial By Fire, would take the stage to tune their own instruments at about 6:30 P.M. Their lead singer/guitarist opened the show by saying something to the effect of, "Hey, we're Trial By Fire. We'd like to thank the Circle Jerks for having us out. Oh, and everybody please move up." From this moment, the crowd was exposed to a fast-paced blend of hardcore for the next half hour or so which was a bit more metal than punk. There was a prominent lack of bass in the mix but by night's end, their bassist had made a solo. If anything, Trial By Fire made the antagonizing wait for the Circle Jerks to take the stage seem a bit shorter. They even wandered about in the audience and I met their guitarist.

As the Dead Kennedys' "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death" continued to blare on indiscriminately, many fans began to ponder what the Circle Jerks would play with "Live Fast Die Young" seeming to be the consensus favorite. Then at 7:37, a dread-locked man wearing a gray t-shirt and black shorts took the stage to duck tape setlists about the stage's perimeter. Sure enough, it was none other than Keith Morris. Many shouted out to him but he just went about his business leaving for a minute or two only to return shortly after.

Naturally, the Circle Jerks were greeted by an eager audience who were ready for the show to start. But, Mr. Morris would proceed to take his time to say the following:

"Everyone say hello to Dave in the back. Now, we have a new drummer. His name is Kevin. Everyone say hi to Kevin. You could sing ‚??Happy Birthday' to him but it's not his birthday. This is our bass player. His name is Zander. Many of you probably recognize him from his role in ‚??Repo Man' but he won't be singing the 7-UP theme song tonight. That's our guitarist, Greg Heston. You kids probably know him from Bad Religion. My name is Keith. I'm an alcoholic and cocaine addict. This is Circle Jerks Anonymous."

After taking a rather introduction, the Circle Jerks broke into an intense rendition of "Wild In The Streets." Keith roamed around the stage and screamed at a very high pitch. As soon as the song was finished, Greg Heston started playing the intro to "Letter Bomb" which was immediately followed with "In Your Eyes." Having not played anything off "Group Sex," a blistering pair of classics, "I Just Want Some Skank" and "Beverly Hills," were performed next to much applause.

Having fulfilled the seemingly inevitable concession to old material, Keith asked if Minnesota had Hot Topic (with many fans booing in response) and ridiculed the store citing, "We think it's really cool because that's where New Found Glory buys their clothes." He then talked about a new album that was due in February‚?¶..of 2008 or 2009 but played "Anxious Boy" off their last studio release. A few other songs preceded "I & I" which is actually a cover that a singer from the Flesheaters had written. "The Crowd" was also performed but very few people (aside from myself and a few others) sang the "All the world must live here part" which was a bit disappointing particularly to Mr. Morris who said the lyric was very important in post 9/11 America.

Keith was in slightly better spirits during "Wonderful" allowing many members of the audience to sing along and would later tease Zander for having an "operation" before playing "Operation." Finally, the Dead Boys'classic, "I Wanna Destroy You," was given the live treatment before the Circle Jerks left the stage having performed (what I believe to be, believe it or not) "Another Broken Heart For Snake."

But, everyone knew such a song would not close the show as Keith introduced the next number as the "first song we wrote as a band" but later commenting, "Oh, no, it was the second." Another classic, "World Up My Ass" was performed. With a refusal to play "Live Fast Die Young" (Keith- "I've seen death. It doesn't scare me.") "Wasted" would follow, a song written back in Morris' Black Flag days about Greg's girlfriend. I still don't know what the third song of the encore was though there was some line along the terms of "I won't apologize" if that makes any difference. By that point my ears were pretty shot, but it was a small cost to pay for such a show.

So in a punk climate that is constantly becoming more homogeneous with the likes of Drive-Thru records churning out New Found Glory clones, the Circle Jerks turned out a set that ranged from social satires ("Beverly Hills") to castration ("Operation") and even to making the world a better place ("Wonderful"). If anything, the Circle Jerks proved that they would not sink into the same anonymity as many modern punk bands have even though their fans were (after all) attending "Circle Jerks Anonymous."


Wild In The Streets
Letter Bomb/In Your Eyes
I Just Want Some Skank/Beverly Hills
Anxious Boy
All Wound Up
Back Against The Wall
I & I
Deny Everything
The Crowd
Coup ‚??D' Etat
Mrs. Jones
Beat Me Senseless
Behind The Door
When The Shit Hits the Fan
Junk Mail
Red Tape
I Wanna Destroy You
Another Broken Heart For Snake (?)

World Up My Ass


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (July 12, 2005)

"I won't apologize" is a line from the song "I Don't" as well

Anonymous (December 9, 2002)

One of my fondest memories of Warped Tour is Keith telling us (the audience) how corporations don't give a damn about us... as if Vans isn't a corporation or something. Ah, but it's still hard not to like them.

Anonymous (December 6, 2002)

i wanna sqeeze you. like a pimple.

Anonymous (December 6, 2002)

holy shit a reviewer that can write semi-coherently! Who woulda thought? 10 for circle jerks, 10 for the show, 0 for not using your fucking grammar check in MS Word.

Anonymous (December 5, 2002)

Keith's 50 man

ZLNFTOC (December 5, 2002)

Yeah, the whistling on "Wonderful" was really loud. It's funny because Keith sounds so much more intense live than on album. He may be 40, but the man can still scream.

Anonymous (December 5, 2002)

HA! The Cricle Jerks can make fun of whoever they fucking want to. And on top of that, ANYONE can make fun of candy ass, disposable, "no one will care in a year" clothing soundtrack like New Found Glory. Go fuck yourself.

Anonymous (December 5, 2002)

How the fuck can the Circle Jerks make fun of New Found Glory? I saw Circle Jerks a year ago and they played with Mest.

Also, did the whistling on Wonderful destroy your ears?

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

The Circle Jerks put on one of the best perforamnce I have ever seen. I saw these guys at the inland invasion show in ca. back in september. They were the best band there and that says alot since some of the other acts included: Distillers, The Adolescents, T.S.O.L., The Vandals, X, Buzzcocks, The Damned, Social Distortion, Pennywise, Bad Religion and the headliners The Sex Pistols to name a few.

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

at the rise above show keith played nervous breakdwon, fix me, asted, and gimme

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

keith came on first on put on a great show, i was basically on the stage so it was great, then after 4 songs he passed the mic to henry and henry exploded and put on a killer performance as usual, then he gave the mic to chcuk dukowski and he polayed one song "What I see" andf he was awesomew, made me wonder why he never sang in a band. Then Henry cqam bakc for the brutal songs Revenge, police story, ive had it and My War...it was great...tight as hell.

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

i already did...it should be up soon- brandon sideleau

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

Damn you people that went to the Rise Above show!!!! Review it, PLEASE!


TheOneTrueBill (December 4, 2002)

reading this review makes me even sadder that i missed them in chicago... goddamn flu

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

saw keith at the Rise Above show, he was screaming literally right into my face the whole time, it was great. Being close enough to this punk legend to feel his spit ht my face. Anyway, what a great show.

lalombriz (December 4, 2002)

really good review... i enjoyed reading it a whole lot... good job :) i wish they'd come by columbus... but oh well... guess i'll just go see the teen idols on friday!!... hehehe -lalo

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

im glad keith is still alive.

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

i think "i wanna destroy you" is actually a soft boys song.

ZLNFTOC (December 3, 2002)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was "Nervous Breakdown" come to think of it. Keith did say before the encore that they were going to be as "punk rock" as possible and he did write that song back with Black Flag so it would make since for him to perform it since he also sang "Wasted." After all, he even reprises "Nervous Breakdown" on the "Rise Above" tribute CD. Thanks for the heads-up and thanks to everyone else's feedback.

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

"I still don‚??t know what the third song of the encore was though there was some line along the terms of 'I won‚??t apologize'"

Could it have been Nervous Breakdown (Black Flag)? -SaYnE GuY

maverick (December 3, 2002)


Email Aubin about your account. His address is on the "About The Site" page.


Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

good review. i'm gonna see trial by fire in a week so hopefully i will have good things to say about them as well.

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

OPPS !! Wrong html code,I can't do anything webrelated very well.There goes my attempt.But anyways,why can't I sign into my account ? I switched email addresses,and I don't wanna switch names.


Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

I wanna go to that !! The Circle Jerks are fuckin awesome.Ehh,no biggie,I'm gonna go see Trial By Fire with Dynamite Boy,Second Class(www.second-class.com),and Cruiserweight.I love Texas bands.Anyone else going ?


Kurt_F (December 3, 2002)

I looooove Trial By Fire.

Jade Tree is the best label ever. Polyvinyl comes in second.

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

That is one of the best show reviews I've read here.


maverick (December 3, 2002)

Excellent review. Makes me wish I liked the Circle Jerks.

Trial By Fire is a good band, though - they get a thumbs up from me.


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