Legendary punk band Screeching Weasel (minus Jughead) played at Emo's in Austin on Friday, June 19th, and to say the least, it was an event. Having purchased a ticket for a measly 15 bucks well before they were being sold online for $150, I was pretty pumped. I had long ago given up on the idea of seeing SW live, given the rare touring, constant breakups and the fact that I live in Texas. But for whatever reason, they picked Austin to rise again like a zombie from the grave, and it kicked complete and total ass.
There were opening bands too, and I'm sure you care about as much as I do to hear about them.
So anyway, Ben Weasel came out in style, bitching about the theft of his set list and a malfunctioning microphone. As Joe Queer once said, "Ben Weasel is an asshole." He lived up to that and set the right tone for a punk show at the same time, but as soon as the band ripped into their set, nothing else mattered. The set list was nothing less than a love letter to Screeching Weasel fans; Loved Boogadaboogadaboogada? They played "My Right," "Dingbat," "Supermarket Fantasy," "Hey Suburbia" and a medley of "This Ain't Hawaii" and "Sunshine." My Brain Hurts? You got "Slogans," "Guest List," "The Science of Myth," "What We Hate," and "Teenage Freakshow" not to mention the title track. Almost anything a Weasel fan could ask for got played: "Cool Kids"; "Joanie and Johnny"; "Totally." I was floored when they broke out "Second Floor East" from Wiggle. They even played "You Are My Sunshine" and the best live punk rock cover of "I Can See Clearly" you could ever hope for.
Don't get me wrong; this is not my first punk show by a longshot, but I can say for sure that it was one of the best. The band sounded great, if a little out of tune on some of the little solos. The set was lengthy, and tended to leave little room between songs, similar to the Ramones, of course, a major inspiration for Screeching Weasel. The crowd was made up of seriously dedicated SW fans, and for many it seemed they were reuniting for the show. I met people from all over who flew or drove in just to see it, and it was a really cool experience. Everyone sang along, and one of the best parts was when the band broke into "She's Giving Me the Creeps," and as soon as that first guitar part stopped, there was an immediate "HEY!" And, also, when Ben got pissed off at some kid who apparently threw something at his balls. The kid denied everything, and Weasel smirked for a moment and walked away, saying, "Ah...I believe â??em." Another funny moment was between songs when a fan yelled, "Where's Jughead?" Ben replied immediately, "Where's Jughead? He's up your mom's ass." So if you had any doubts about how that relationship's worked out, there you go.
Anyway, I can pretty much guarantee no fan left disappointed Friday night; it was a great show, and an amazing experience for those of us who spent all these years listening to and loving this band we'd begun to think we'd never get to see. I understand they're planning some more tour dates, and I'd recommend buying your tickets early.