The Longshot With Dead Sound And The Darts At The Teragram Ballroom, Wednesday June 12th 2019
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong is also the Longshot frontman, and after seeing the band last night at the Teragram Ballroom, and I would say that anyone passing on a Longshot show is missing a lot of fun and an awfully great time. On Wednesday night, the Teragram Ballroom was certainly the place to be, Linda Ramone was there, I ran into Bonnie Bloomgarden of Death Valley Girls, and since the stage-diving-crowd-surfing pretty much never stopped during the Longshot’s set – and they basically would never stop playing – I even caught Erin Micklow, the punk model/stylist/Youtube host, taking an epic stage dive in the middle of a song.
The show was originally scheduled at the Moroccan Lounge but was quickly moved to the more spacious Teragram Ballroom (what were they thinking?) still leaving a lot of fans ticketless. Even under his Longshot moniker, Billie Joe Armstrong obviously can rally a large crowd of loyal fans and the line to get in the venue was turning around the block like during the good old days of rock ‘n’ roll excitement.
Two bands were opening, first, Dead Sound, a guitar-driven young quartet from Oakland with rock power and poppy hooks, which could have been a sort of appetizer for the headliner. Despite their moniker, there was nothing dead about their performance, which was a vigorous display of explosive upbeat power pop with plummeting drums and a dose of distortion, while they mentioned a new album on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records.
The all-female-band the Darts were received by an enthusiastic crowd and played a short set of a haunted organ with some ferocious boogie accelerations. Their psych-rock was led by the fearless Nicole Laurenne, who moved around her instrument, messed up with it, put her barefoot on it, trashed the floor with it (as she does at each show), a scene to see and a new assault of the machines. With her bandmates, they played a witchy brand of rock ‘n’ roll with a badass attitude and plenty of punk inspiration, while the combination of her vocals and organ rendered things a bit creepy, a bit spooky for everyone’s greatest joy. They were probably the only band bringing some darkness in the upbeat tone of the night, although their last song, ‘My Way’, was a hot feminist race, a fast headbang shouted by Laurenne, beat down by the propulsive rhythms of bassist Christina Nunez and drummer Rikki Styxx, crushed Michelle Balderrama‘s guitar.
As soon as they took the stage, the Longshot never stopped playing, it was a sweaty, steamy performance and it’s hard to comprehend how these guys could even catch their breath because there was not one second to do so. The songs, all sing-alongs and potential punk anthems with a gentle-joke-y rebellion theme – ‘Kill Your Friends’ ‘We are the Devil’s Kind’, ‘Love Is For Losers’ – were executed with bottomless energy and the same brand of powerful poppy hooks that made Green Day so popular, As a matter of fact, each song, delivered with Billie Joe’s eternal youthful enthusiasm, seemed to participate in a catchiness contest.
‘We’ll be here all night’, shouted Billie Joe to the crowd, while encouraging more ‘dancing’ and basically more mayhem and chaos, ‘If you are young and in the front, you should be dancing right now,… if you are old and in the back, you better get fucking here right now’ he screamed before a speedy cover of the Ramones’ ‘Rockaway Beach’. This summed up the night, old songs and new tunes of their 2018 ‘Love is For Losers’ album, although, I am not sure in which category you should put Green Day (they did some covers of the beloved band).
With Jeff Matika on bass, David S. Field on drums, and Prima Donna’s Kevin Preston on guitar, it was a happy fest, a sort of rock ‘n’ roll celebration, where the performers had as much fun as the crowd. It was also a long series of covers, ‘Bastards of Young’ of The Replacements, ‘Neat Neat Neat’ of The Damned, ‘Beat My Guest’ of Adam and the Ants, ‘I Fought the Law’ of the Crickets but of course executed like The Clash version, ‘A Million Miles Away ‘ of The Plimsouls, ‘Ziggy Stardust’ of Bowie, ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ of Generation X, the Longshot’s songs were sandwiched between American/UK classics and at this point the band sounded like an amazing jukebox, an unstoppable crowd pleaser, ready to play till everyone would drop dead.
The night came with a long list of wild guitar solos between Preston and Armstrong, but especially some memorable interactions with the crowd, a very happy rowdy crowd which never cease to stage dive and crowd surf, in a neck-breaking abandon, although some youngsters who seemed to hesitate forever once they were on stage, were pushed by the security… what a fun night!
Just before the encore, almost everyone had climbed on stage to dance, hug and embrace Billie Joe during an extended version of ‘Chasing A Ghost’… and the band came back on stage with a Billie Joe ready to start the set over again! They did more covers, accepted a Bowie request from the crowd and finally said goodbye after a 2-hour intense show of music. Billie Joe Armstrong’s shirt was reading ‘Rock Roll Repeat’ and could have been the perfect 3-word review of the show.
Kill Your Friends
Rockaway Beach (Ramones cover)
Bastards of Young (The Replacements)
Neat Neat Neat (The Damned)
Beat My Guest (Adam and the Ants)
Fell for You (Green Day)
Missing You (Green Day) dedicated to Adrienne
Love is for Lovers
Turn Me Loose
Stay the Night (Green Day)
I Fought the Law (The Crickets/The Clash)
Chasing A Ghost
A Million Miles Away (The Plimsouls)
The Last Time
Born to Lose (Johnny Thunder and the Heartbreakers cover)
Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
Kiss Me Deadly (Generation X)