Sunday, June 11, 2006

Buzzcocks @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Seeing a perfect show is a very rare thing, so rare that I'd have to think long and hard to remember the last one I saw. No, this Buzzcocks gig isn't the best show I've ever seen (not even close to it) but it was about as close to perfect as a concert can be (be careful not to confuse perfection with excellence).

There wasn't a single song I wanted to hear that they didn't play, sure, that's not so difficult to pull off if my Buzzcocks familiarity doesn't extend much beyond "Singles Going Steady", but nearly every band fails the selfish, nonsensical Set List Test. I didn't see a single person in the packed building who made a fool out of themselves by dancing in a style that gave away their age. Again, an easy test to pass in principle, but few bands and their fans can manage it. Pete Shelley still sounds great. I gave some quality thought to the notion of the Buzzcocks making the world safe for Green Day. They played for only 45 minutes, thankfully acknowledging the fact that any bands whose songs last only two minutes can't possibly play for much longer than that. Every song was efficient and fun. They made me want to run home and listen to the Ramones, in particular, to reconfirm that "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You" is still the all-time best song about love and relationships (it still is).


Amit said...

Yeah, it was "perfect", and even though they were old they didn't look foolish.

It wasn't a pantheon show -- my brother and his friend hadn't even heard of them.

They were one of many genre-defining bands on Mods'n'Rockers (CIUT), along with Husker Du, NOFX, Stiff Little Fingers, Bad Religion.

Some of those had a big part in "making the world safe for Green Day", as you say.

Barry said...

They're definitely not a "pantheon" band, but their profile has been rising in recent years as people continue to re-evaluate 70's music. Over the past ten years or so, the momentum has been shifting away from Sex Pistols-style anarchy/safety pin punk and more toward arty (Wire, Television) or poppier (Buzzcocks, Ramones) stuff. It might be worthwhile to ask whether the Sex Pistols reunion in 1996 helped to trigger that.

Dr Morbius said...

when I saw their first reunion tour in '91, it was a pantheon show! (and no air conditioning in Hoboken in July-- sweaty. they used the Smiths drummer.)

is Joey Ramone singing 'rock'? the title is 'Walk.'

Barry said...

He's singing "walk" (you caught my typo).

Buzzcocks aren't a "pantheon" band in the sense that that their mystique doesn't approach that of e.g. the Sex Pistols. That's saying nothing about the quality of the music though -- it can easily be argued that Buzzcocks were/are the better band (not sure where I stand though).

I didn't even know they had a reunion tour in '91 -- and with Mike Joyce on drums! I didn't start reading the British music mags until '92 so I'm not surprised I didn't hear about it back then.