TOUR: Winter '81/First Euro Tour
VENUE: Club 950, Chicago, Illinois
ACTS: Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Husker Du
EPHEMERA: Advertisment, reviews from Coolest Retard.

This show happened. The Jan 9 show (same venue and lineup), may not have--I think it was just a mistake, myself.

Memories of this show? Flyers? Live audio or video? Photos? Interviews?


The place is packed - the people near the stage are jammed too close together to slam, and instead are pushing and shoving toward the stage. Those who are further back stand in one place, watching in studied indifference, and a few people still sit at the bar attempting to carry on a conversation or make a pickup, but soon reverting to their drink because it's much too loud to hear what anyone is saying. The band is....well, predictable. The energy is contagious, the music itself seems secondary; merely a means to an and. The boundary between stage and audience has dissolved, as band members attack the crowd, and fans run, fall, or are pushed onto the stage.

Something seems different, though; when I saw this band last winter at Oz, the crowd was even more uncontrollable (although much smaller), but they were spontaneous, and the mock-violence in front of the band was simply an expression of frustration with everyday life in a world that seemed beyond control; and besides, at 5:30am everyone was too drunk or tired to care what anyone else thought.

Yes, tonight is different; a few of these people were at last years show, but mostly these are new faces, punked-out, but in a styleized way, obviously pre-planned, image conscious. Their actions are the same way; a few people are being very careful to make their leaps onto the stage when my camera is pointed in their direction.

Later conversations with some of the people in the crowd only strengthen my earlier impressions; many of these people are only thrill seekers; they haven't got a clue what this is all about.

There is a big difference between the harmless slamming that occurs at most hard-core shows, and the willful violence that is often inspired by some of the west coast bands. Other writers have tried to defend and justify the carefully aimed elbows, occasional fistfights , and other acts of thinly veiled machismo that occur at some Black Flag shows; anyone that takes that viewpoint is part of the problem, and has no business complaining about the condition of society until they open up their pitiful little minds and get their own priorities straight. They are merely acting as a powerless accomplice to the shortsighted and self serving politicians who are so good at defending and justifying senseless wars.

The guy next to you on the dance floor already knows something is wrong. Write your Congressman a letter instead; he obviously doesn't know.

[Review is uncredited--possibly by Ken Merzwa, who's got a website somewhere...]

Eric Nihilist did it again, he got a Los Angeles-Minn. punk show on stage, for two shows and in a disco-synth dance club. I went to the under-21 show mainly becasue I wondered what it would be like and how many teens turned out to see 'the' band. Also to see how the new Lucky Number would take such shows.

Under-21 means no alchohol; so we just drank before going, no problem. Once inside I noticed older men with beer bellies standing around; could these be the bouncers? Sure, just seme truckers to combat the youth if they didn't behave. Once again, Black Flag didn't provoke any violence, just fun.

Husker Du were up first, should have been second, and responded with a good set. They're another example that the midwest (Minneapolis, to be specific) is capable of matching the West Coast in 'punk' talent. They are a band you can see numourous times and still be amazed at their sound and intensity (how many "punk guitarists" use a flying 'V'?). Husker Du ended their set with "Statues" (on their single) with Grant (drunner) singing it. It ended with a manber of the Hypsterz (Minn.) replacing Grant on drums in mid-song so Grant could come out front and wail. Great set but no encore? I think people were too stunned to clap. See them they play around Chi-town alot and worth every penny it is to see them and look for their new album.

Before the show I was psyched to see Saccharine Trust, another LA/Hunnington Beach band YEA! But, YUK!, they stunk like shit. They were touring the country with Black Flag, why I don't know. They just seaned disorganized and bored. The skinhead on bass looked cool though. Best song I can remember or wanted to was "Mad at the Company". No encore, thank God!

By now the crowd was pretty substaniated with the usual number of jerks and cretins; but that's expected. Black Flag hit the stage for a all out aural assault with "TV Party" (a fav) with everyone singing the chorus; what a song.

One noticable absence was Robo the drummer, rumour had it he was detained in England becasue of residential problems (he is a East German or a Columbian or a primate? only his hair-dresser knows for sure) and has probably quit the band. His replaconent for the night was Billy of the Descendants, he was definately kick-ass in drumming and he had just flown out from LA. Henry was great on vocals, maybe the best they've had yet. Dez plays quitar (but you couldn't hear it above the sonic wave of Ginn's guitar) and sings back-up; he also looked like a cross between a Manson gang member and a Hell's Angel. Chuck played with his usual distorted face but sans-mowhawk. Greg Ginn's quitar rules and that's it! The only flaw was the sound up front, almost non-existent vocals at sane points, but you could easily read Henry's lips. What a screamer!

The set was long with stand-out being "Nervous Breakdown" (already four years old), "Life of Pain" where Henry stalks the stage like a 'punk' possesed, "Gimme Gimmie Gimmie" and encores of "Rise Above"--Yeah! and the killer "Louie Louie".

Slam dancing was widespread, including the kiddies. One of the coolest things was when this normal looking kid, he looked all of 13 years, was thrown on stage and kept getting thrown back on the staje. At one point, Henry collared him and had him sing along, yes he knew the words. You should have seen it, Big Brother Henry. I've decided I need to see Black Flag every month or two, it's natural like milk.________dds