OFF!'s Amoeba Berkeley In-Store Show Yesterday Was OFF! The Hook

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2012 09:41am | Post a Comment
Just as OFF!'s Amoeba Hollywood in-store was back in October 2010, yesterday afternoon's (May 12th) energized set by the SoCal punk rock super-group at Amoeba Music Berkeley was equally off the hook (pun intended) with a sound mix that was perfect, a set list that included lots off the recommended new album (OFF! avail on LP and CD), and between song banter by Keith Morris that was at once entertaining and enlightening.

Check out the official Amoeba Music photos HERE.

As lead singer and former member of the influential and iconic West Coast punk outfits Black Flag and Circle Jerks, Keith Morris has done in the past, again at Amoeba Music yesterday he reiterated how he and his bandmates [Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From the Crypt)] like to distance themselves from the term "punk" but rather consider themselves simply "human." He made that statement right before OFF! jumped into another five song set of high-energy, fast delivered, short n satisfying punk rock sounding songs. He even made a joke about how their songs are so short, typically one minute in length (like on their new 16 minute, 16 track album), that five songs take five minutes to play.

Yesterday's in-store show was more packed than I have ever seen one at Amoeba Berkeley (easily at, or close to, the 300 maximum capacity mark) and was made up of a wonderful cross-section of people of all ages from new younger teenaged/20 something fans to folks who were followers of Black Flag and the other bands OFF! were in from when they first started out - many of them bringing their kids along with them. Knowing how loud an OFF! show can get parents of some of the kids came prepared by placing muffler headphones (like the guys guiding planes at the airport wear) over the little ones' ears. This became fodder for Keith Morris in one of his many entertaining between song mic breaks when, before he would curse out loud some oppressive power, he advised parents to cover their kids' ears so as not to hear the "FUCK" word. "Oh I see they already have their ears covered," he quipped, pointing to the headphones kids in photo above. Morris, who in his October 2010 Amoeba interview noted that the band's name means "Get the fuck OFF! my back," spoke out against many issues including how the US government needs to stop policing the world and stay the hell out of other countries' political problems and wars (to applause). He had no good words to say about Republicans, but the current administration didn't fare much better either. He admonished Barack Obama, even if he is "a good guy" he said, noting how rather than working on saving the country the prez was busy down "in Studio City hanging out" with Hollywood celebrities for fundraising purposes solely.

Ever gracious, Morris had nothing but good things to say about Amoeba Music recalling how he had just been telling his nephew about how OFF! was going to be playing at Amoeba -- not the Hollywood or SF Amoeba, but "the original Amoeba" store in Berkeley. "We wouldn't be here if not for Amoeba," he said at one point in the show and at the end of the concert portion of the Amoeba performance/meet-and-greet he told the crowd, "You're in an amazing place" with all this great music. "Buy some of it and go home and listen to it." Around that same point, after they'd finished playing, someone shouted up half-seriously "play 'Gimme Gimme Gimme'" to which, without missing a beat, Morris shot back, "I think you must be mistaking us with another band" and then said something about how, based on recent statements that [Black Flag founding member] Greg Ginn had made about Black Flag, that there probably wouldn't be another Black Flag reunion* anytime soon. But who cares when we have the band OFF! recording albums like their new one and doing shows like yesterday's at Amoeba Berkeley.

[*Note that when Black Flag played three 2003 SoCal reunion shows, the line-up included Ginn, Dez Cadena, Robo, C'el Revuelta, and Mike Vallely, but not Morris who had quit the band back in 1979 before going on to form the Circle Jerks.]

OFF! "Wiped Out" (2012)

Relevant Tags

Off! (15), Black Flag (28), Amoeba Music Berkeley (25), Keith Morris (7), Circle Jerks (8), Greg Ginn (1)