Strike Anywhere/The Break/Paint It Black - live in Richmond, VA (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Strike Anywhere / The Break / Paint It Black

live in Richmond, VA (2002)

live show

Oh, the RVA punk rock matinee. I love going to show and getting out early enough to still be able to go out and get piss drunk For those of you unfamiliar with Richmond's punk scene, there is a sad irony. Richmond is the home of such well known bands as Avail, Strike Anywhere, Ann Beretta, Count Me Out, Sixer, River City High and so on. But there are hardly any clubs to see them in Richmond. Twisters has been gone for some time now, and I think I had just graduated from high school a few years back when the Flood Zone closed. So Alley Katz is it. Not a bad place though. Although you have to trek into the notorious Richmond "Bottom" to go, the place is pretty cool. Good pizza, $2 PBR and cheap shows. This one set me back $6. Giddy-up.

I made sure to purchase and advance ticket and get to the show in ample time due to a band I have been highly anticipating was playing first. For those of you unfamiliar with your history, Dr. Dan has been reinventing hardcore for several years now. Lifetime and Kid Dynamite, 2 of his former bands, have left some big-ass footprints in this genre. As Paint It Black came on, Dan highly encouraged everyone to come up to the front and enjoy the show. The band went straight into the tracks from the new EP/Demo, which much to my disappointment, had sold-out at a previous night's show in NY. However, this would not taint my judgment of the incredible performance offered. For those of you that felt Kid Dynamite changed greatly from what Lifetime was, wait until you have heard Paint It Black. A presence of Kid Dynamite was felt, but with a much harder sound. Naturally, Dr, Dan also had some words for the audience, mostly asking that kids in the crowd look out for one another, and that everyone come to the stage afterwards to pick up a free lyric booklet. Let me tell you kids, the full length will be out soon on Jade Tree, I highly suggest you get it.

Up next was a NJ band I had never even heard of, and usually that means I hit the bar. As I'm working on another PBR, The Break hits the stage. Whoah. I was really impressed. Their sound is kinda hard to describe. I would say if you mixed the song structures of One Man Army with the lyrical styling of Hot Rod Circuit. I know that's vague, but that's the best I can think of. I was sure to purchase their full-length album, currently out on Doghouse after the set. They rock.

Now comes the part of the show I wasn't looking forward to. The show was billed as a record release party for Count Me Out. Now I'll admit, I've seen Count Me Out plenty of times before and think they are great musicians. But I just can't follow the whole straight edge thing. More power to you if that's your lifestyle, but the militant assholes in Richmond have pretty much given me a disgruntled perception. The set was good, action packed with XXX kids jumping around and having fun. I watched from a distance with my foot slightly tapping.

And now comes Strike Anywhere. If you like energy, I highly recommend you check out Strike Anywhere the next time they come remotely near you. Intelligent lyrics, with a great sound, and enough intensity to cause an entire club to jump to life. The setlist was comprised of tracks from both the "Chorus of One" EP and the recent LP, "Change is a Sound". As to be expected, the band placed an emphasis on government changes needed, mainly the coalition for a living wage, and of course the rhetoric concerning G.W. Bush. Thankfully that aspect was kept to a minimal humorous comment and not carried out like the wayward joke it has become.

As the set came to a close, the band opted to close with "Sunset on 32nd", as opposed to the common closer from the EP, "Cassandratic Equation". The crowd seemed to dig it as they erupted into a chorus of screams and shouts, along with a fury of assorted, flying arms, legs and other assorted limbs. Long live hardcore.