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The Suicide Machines / Buck-O-Nine

The Suicide Machines / Buck-O-Nine: live in Hollywoodlive in Hollywood (2006)
Side One Dummy Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


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

As I'm sure most of you are aware by now from last week's ending at the Troubador show in Hollywood and the subsequent cancellation of their tour in Mexico, Dan and Ryan officially announced the end of the 15-year-long ska-punk institution, the Suicide Machines. While I didn't initially intend to wr.


As I'm sure most of you are aware by now from last week's ending at the Troubador show in Hollywood and the subsequent cancellation of their tour in Mexico, Dan and Ryan officially announced the end of the 15-year-long ska-punk institution, the Suicide Machines. While I didn't initially intend to write a review, I felt I owed it to fellow fans who weren't there, my account of the night this band took the stage for the last time. The review is pretty long but I figured some of you guys would want as much detail as possible so here goes.

With Operation Ivy playing during set changes all night, it looked like the bill with Buck-O-Nine and Toys That Kill was going to be a great one. I caught the tail end of Los Kung Fu Monkeys set and while not knowing anything about the band, they did put on a fun, high energy set. With a small skank pit on the floor, the 6-person ska-punk outfit were rocking it hard on stage, especially the two front-men taking turns at the mic. After raising a beer and giving thanks to the Suicide Machines for taking them on their Mexican tour, they finished and up next was Toys That Kill.

Having just recently gotten into this band, I was looking forward to their set and they did not disappoint. Because they were the odd band out on this ska-heavy lineup, the crowd response was somewhat subdued despite the band's request for people to get moving. But that didn't stop them from slamming out a fun, rockin' set. And it paid off because I thought more people were getting into their set as it wore on. Jay from the Suicide Machines certainly was enjoying it from the floor. The band was tight as they charged through with short, infectious melodic punk bursts and jagged tempo shifts that seemed to spark more and more of people's attention. And by the end, most in the audience were paying full attention. Some songs I recognized were "Bullet from the Sky," "Runnin' the Front," and "Little Bit Stranger." By the end, I was thoroughly impressed and looking forward to more from them in the future.

Buck-O-Nine was next and the crowd swelled to fill the entire floor. I never got into these guys back in the `90s ska craze, but it was obvious their following here in southern California is still huge. The skank pit was huge and the energy was through the roof as the band whipped through their poppy ska/punk songs. The band fed off the energy and good vibes of the crowd, especially the horn section that was dancing all night and catching air early and often. The lead singer acknowledged that the band had been off the radar for some time but were excited to be playing again and were looking to do more shows in the future. A great cover of Operation Ivy's "Soundsystem" finished the set that had the floor shaking in one massive circle pit. I still can't say I'll ever be a big fan of these guys but they put on a good performance tonight.

Having already seen the Suicide Machines a handful of times, I was getting pumped for another face-melting experience from one of the best live bands I'd ever seen. During the set change, I noticed Danny Lore from Against All Authority setting up on bass and the new drummer as well. I had heard the band was going through some lineup changes, so none of this was too surprising. And when MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" blared from the speakers and the guys filed down the steps and onto the stage, the crowd started to move up. Everybody was ready. Jay, sporting a hippie/full beard look, was ready. And as soon as "SOS" ripped through the speakers, the crowd exploded and bodies were flying. But almost immediately into the second song, Dan was having trouble with his guitar cabinet as the sound would come in and out, forcing the band to stop and start again. The guy was visibly pissed but Jay urged him to play through and it was game on again.

Some fans there said Dan's guitar was making awful noises throughout the set and that he looked like he couldn't take it anymore, but I honestly was too busy singing along and dancing to notice. I thought the band was still pumping full throttle skacore like only they can. And the crowd went off in a stage diving, circle pitting, pogoing frenzy like only we could oblige. Early on, I was glad to see "All My People" from in my opinion the underrated Steal This Record album. One of my favorite hardcore tracks off Battle Hymns, "Hating Hate" also got a turn. They blazed through live staples and crowd favorites "Someone," "Break the Glass" and "Islands" in anthemic fashion while the hardcore piss of "Burning in the Aftermath," "DDT," and "War Profiteering Is Killing Us All" had the circle pit raging. That left me needing a breather for a few songs and convinced me yet again they were hands down my favorite live band.

It was a bit strange seeing Danny off to the side instead of front and center tearing through AAA songs but the guy was holding down the low end admirably. The new drummer Steve, who Jay said they had practiced with just once and who was also skipping his college graduation to play with the band, was a bit out of sync on some songs and had his share of miscues. But overall, he played as well as you could have asked considering he just joined the band.

Jay did his thing. Whether he was stage diving, passing the mic all over, or singing with the fist-pumping crowd, he seemed to love every minute of it. Always in a talkative mood, he commented on how he wasn't down with the recent Germs reunion and talked about how his "gringo" ass couldā??ve been murdered during their trip to Puerto Rico, which got a few laughs from the crowd. Jay then started to reflect on the Troubador show I saw last August. He thanked everyone who was there that night for giving him one of the greatest shows he'd ever seen. The band that blew the roof off the house and the near riotous crowd that night reminded him why he loved punk rock so much. Thanking all the bands on the bill, he was in a truly appreciative mood and in hindsight, perhaps knowing the end was near. And then, after about a half-hour, everything came to a stop. The band finished "War Profiteering Is Killing Us All" and left the stage to which I thought seemed like a much shorter set than usual. The clapping for an encore ensued for a few minutes only to have the stage lights and the house music turned on. Now, there was just mass confusion as we all looked at each other, some booing, some leaving.

Jay came back on stage to give a thanks to the crowd and signaled that the set was indeed finished. People were getting even more annoyed now and chanting for one more song. Another few minutes went by before Jay finally agreed to do one more: "Vans Song." Dan was nowhere to be found so a drum 'n' bass acapella version would have to do to, which Jay asked for someone who knew the song cold. In response? Half the crowd invaded the stage, the only way to finish off a Suicide Machines set. And with his friends surrounding him, off they went into more chaos. One guy started crowd surfing on stage before being thrown into the audience (got caught). It didn't matter that the pissed off security guy was trying to shove people off stage -- the band continued on, the fans continued on, and nobody gave a shit. And that was the end. The real end as we now know.

Here's where I ramble a bit and tell you my story so skip the rest if you'd like. It was a true privilege to have seen their last show. No, not their last show, any show of theirs. We often talk about the gateway bands that got us into punk rock. I didn't jump right into the Ramones or Black Flag or the Dead Kennedys but took a more circuitous route via ska and Destruction by Definition in the summer of 1997. For someone who never really fit in anywhere, they opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities that were limitless, vast and liberating in a way that suddenly made almost my entire music collection obsolete. In this world, I was drawn to a sense of belonging. The band's love for the music was seemingly only matched by their love for the fans and vice versa. Integrity, camaraderie, equality, mutual respect, and the passion for it all, these guys embody the true spirit of punk rock and they will have influenced my life in more ways than they'll never know. I will always be grateful to them for that.

It may have been a bittersweet ending, but what a ride it's been. If my last memory of the band is of them on stage with 50 kids in a crazy, chaotic finale, I'll gladly take it. So for all the times we screamed our heads off or fucking lost control at a show or grew deaf listening to "New Girl" in our rooms for the 200th time, for all the times that guy requested "I Don't Wanna Hear It," and for the countless number of people you've inspired and changed (definitely not bad for a bunch of working class kids from Detroit), we thank everyone that has been a part of this band since Day 1. We wish you all the best of luck and say so longā?¦and good fucking bye.

Score is for the Suicide Machines.

Set list (I may be a song or two off but this is what I remember):

  • SOS
  • All My People
  • Break the Glass
  • Islands
  • DDT
  • Someone
  • Hating Hate
  • Burning in the Aftermath
  • Did You Ever Get a Feeling of Dread?
  • Your Silence
  • 17% 18-25
  • Capitalist Suicide
  • War Profiteering Is Killing Us All
  • Vans Song

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldTeenage Bottlerocket - TotalThe Suicide Machines - Destruction By DefinitionOperation Ivy - Operation IvyJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - Cocktails And DreamsThe Weakerthans - Reconstruction SiteLess Than Jake - Borders and Boundaries

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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.
theOneTrueBill (May 18, 2006)

http://photos-355.facebook.com/n15/168/123/20000387/n20000387_18 417355_3859.jpg There's me screaming right into Jay's face at Riot Fest, the last time they pulled through Chicago. I like how everyone else in the picture is chilling out and relaxing and I'm screaming bloody murder.

Anonymous (May 17, 2006)

sucks about the suicide machines. in other news, the new less than jake sucks. killed by mediocore lyrics, music, and overproduction.

Anonymous (May 17, 2006)

The only time I saw Suicide Machines was their tour with Pennywise and No Use For A Name.

They really looked beat, but they still put on one fantabulous show.

Cruz Bustamante
Lieutenant Governor
State of California

MikeStupid (May 17, 2006)

This review is one of the saddest things I've ever read. The Suicide Machines were my favorite band to see live, and they will be missed.

Anonymous (May 17, 2006)

Great review. I think they are the only band I ever went to see by myself. It was in Philly at the Troc around 98-99. Awesome. Saw them later with Bouncing Souls and One Man Army and finally at the Warped a couple of years back. Great band. I am now getting my oldest daughter into them and she loves them. Wished I would have went to the Church show last July.

Anonymous (May 17, 2006)

you forgot Capsule

sxenester (May 16, 2006)

... And then I was like, "rectum? damn near killed 'em!"

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

To be fair.... calling this band a 15 year old institution is a pretty big stretch. Ten years. Ten. Maybe eleven. And that's for the folk who were with them for the long haul.

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

Ahh. I checked the news archives. Nevermind.
Mr. Kenzington

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

So what's the deal with Dan? I'm thinking it was a lot more than the guitar problems at the show that caused the meltdown. Anyone have any insight?
Mr. Kenzington

ZLNFTOC (May 16, 2006)

Oops. The score should be a 10.

ZLNFTOC (May 16, 2006)

Excellent review. I got into punk/ska through the Suicide Machines and the like. It's a shame they called it quits and dropped of the NUFAN tour a while ago. Score is for the review and the Suicide Machines. BTW, did they ever play "Kaleidoscope" at any shows?

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

I too was at this show and was going to write a review about it. I'm glad I didn't, because I couldn't have summed up my feelings about this band, this show and the experience nearly as eloquently as you did. Awesome review.
It was definitely a bittersweet night. The show, similar to the one back in August, was amazing. Dan's guitar problems (though I'm sure they affected him as a player) really didn't bother me and I dare say most of the crowd didn't mind either. Everyone was too busy singing, dancing and going off - just like every other time I've seen them. Jay's "thank you" at the end of the show definitely felt more like a goodbye, so I suspected that this may be the end. There's a lot of fucking fashion in punk right now, and it seems like a lot of bands are more concerned with there fucking mascara, synchronized jumps and other bullshit than the integrity of their music. The passion, energy and heart that the Suicide Machines have brought to their live shows/music make them unforgettable. To me, they embody everything a punk band should be.
Mr. Kenzington

joeg (May 16, 2006)

"There's conflicting info about that. There's someone on that board who constantly claims to be Jay that really isn't him. So, from that and talking to Dan, I wouldn't get the hopes up of a final xmas show yet. They were planned beforehand, but right now there are no plans..."

Really? Hmmm. Did you see the thread that "Jay Navarro" started? And for those who haven't seen it:

http://www.suicide-machines.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb =get_topic;f=1;t=003512

You're right, nothing is set in stone and we should be careful. But the post sounded pretty real to me based on all the people he was thanking and how this 1 person let danny and him sleep over. And it was also the first post under that name. But I guess this will all be cleared up sooner or later.

Fuzzy (May 16, 2006)

but it looks like this was NOT the way the band is going out. jay just posted on the suicide machines board that there WILL BE be a final christmas show planned so we'll all get our chance at a proper send off. now that will be the show of the year. they'll probably play till jay collapses from exhaustion.

There's conflicting info about that. There's someone on that board who constantly claims to be Jay that really isn't him. So, from that and talking to Dan, I wouldn't get the hopes up of a final xmas show yet. They were planned beforehand, but right now there are no plans...

Great review.

Fuzzy (May 16, 2006)

but it looks like this was NOT the way the band is going out. jay just posted on the suicide machines board that there WILL BE be a final christmas show planned so we'll all get our chance at a proper send off. now that will be the show of the year. they'll probably play till jay collapses from exhaustion.

There's conflicting info about that. There's someone on that board who constantly claims to be Jay that really isn't him. So, from that and talking to Dan, I wouldn't get the hopes up of a final xmas show yet. They were planned beforehand, but right now there are no plans...

Great review.

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

Score is for "score is for the suicide machines". Way to end your review with a lame-ass Punknews catchphrase

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

Suicide machines own

hubitcherkokov (May 16, 2006)

If there is a final show in Detroit someone HAS to tape it for me. I'll be in Korea, otherwise I'd drive up from Cleveland.

coffinfullofnails (May 16, 2006)

my thanks to whatever god allowed me to be there for this or devil whoever made it so i was there i thank. i will never forget this show or this band thanks to them for all the memories and great times. they got me into punk and ska and im so happy that i was at the finale.

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

maybe this could have all been avoided if Dan wore looser pants. It seems as if he was the cranky one. I think the tightness of his pants made him a bit too grumpy that day.

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

Awesome review, man. But while they may have broken up, I still think they'll do a final farewell in Detroit at the end of this year.

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

was the OpIvy thing just music playing in between or was it actually the band playing live again?

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

was the OpIvy thing just music playing in between or was it actually the band playing live again?

xote (May 16, 2006)

reading that review made me sad

kingofpain (May 16, 2006)

Call me a pussy if you'd like, but I was listening to the Suicide Machines earlier today and I actually shed a tear. They will definitely be missed.

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

What a sad day.

...evildeadalive

joeg (May 16, 2006)

ah bill, guys thanks for the kind words. it was tough at first but i just wrote what i felt and that came easy with these guys in mind.

but it looks like this was NOT the way the band is going out. jay just posted on the suicide machines board that there WILL BE be a final christmas show planned so we'll all get our chance at a proper send off. now that will be the show of the year. they'll probably play till jay collapses from exhaustion.

theOneTrueBill (May 16, 2006)

God. This review is so good but it's for such a horrible, horrible thing.

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

Ending their last show as a band with that version of Vans Song is so fucking epic/legendary, it will definitely go down in history.

That's even better than Jerry Only playing We Are 138 by himself for the last song at the last Misfits show.

Score is also for TSM.

skankin_in_the_pit (May 16, 2006)

Great review. I almost blew off work and drove to LA for this show, but it would of meant not having the cash to see Sick Of It All and Epoxies/The Phenomenauts/Teenage Bottlerocket shows this week. Knowing I'm not going to see SM again makes me pretty bummed I skipped it.

I really recommend Los Kung Fu Monkeys' first album "Rebuilding The World." Any ska-punk fans should check it out.

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

Other than Operation Ivy, Destruction By Definition is the definitive ska-punk record as far as I'm concerned.

Great band, great guys. Loved them every time I saw them play, especially some of the earlier tours with Less Than Jake. And they had a message, which is why they are a huge part of the person I've become as I get older.

somegirl (May 16, 2006)

That nearly made me cry. Thank you for writing this.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (May 16, 2006)

I regret it that I will never see these guys...unless they have a reunion tour in ten year.s

SalsaShark (May 16, 2006)

It oddly sounds sort of cliche now, but The Suicide Machines and Goldfinger were both responsible for getting me into punk. "New Girl" and "Superman" were the first two punk songs I ever heard and was interested in, and if it wasn't for them, I might not post here.

In any event, I never got to see them live, which is extremely depressing, but the music will live on.

"So, I got a new girl!"

Hubitcherkokov (May 16, 2006)

I actually heard "Battle Hymns" before I'd ever heard "Destruction By Definition" and it took me a little while to warm up to it. Nonetheless, I absolutely love this band and they will be sorely missed.

Longshot (May 16, 2006)

it's weird to see how many kids have the same story i have about the suicide machines and destruction by definition being the record that introduced them into punk and ended being a turning point in their lives...

notfeelingcreative (May 16, 2006)

Most depressing review I've ever read.

InaGreendase (May 16, 2006)

That one paragraph almost brought a tear to my eye. Cheers; this band'll be missed.

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