Sometime before their set, a grizzled casino goer asked The Flatliners if kids still slam dance. If that guy had come out to Beauty Bar on Wednesday night, he would have known it’s a resounding “yes!,” though the answer would likely have come courtesy of an errant elbow to the gut.
The Canadian punk rockers were the night’s headliners, definitely earning the mid-week pit they incited. “Fangs,” which sounds like a lost The Shape of Punk to Come b-side, had the crowd slamming at their fastest, but a true testament to the love this band has cultivated over the past 13 years is the arm-in-arm singalongs that midtempo numbers like “Monumental” and “Count Your Bruises” inspire. Much beer was purchased and ultimately spilled by fans, as people uncontrollably pumped their fists to sing “You will always be remembered / You will be celebrated” with Chris Cresswell, his wonderful rasp, and the rest of the Flats.
The Flatliners’ Fat Wreck brothers Masked Intruder certainly didn’t need help proving to the previously mentioned casionofly that slam dancing was alive and well in Vegas during their supporting set. A cursory glance at the packed Beauty Bar backyard showed more than a handful of fans adorned in MI shirts, humidity causing them to cling tight, ready to release their energy in the pit. And once the band launched into “Stick ’em Up,” slam dance they did.
But with the help of parole officer/hype man Jackson Brandon, that pit was transformed into a dance party – because as Intruder Blue pointed out, dancing is going to get more girls at shows than moshing will and “you like girls, don’t you?” Bradford also started the crowd surfing as fans sang along to “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone Tonight,” “Crime Spree” and “I Fought the Law (but the Law Beat the Shit out of Me).” Why can’t every band have a Bradford?
All this allowed Green ample time to jump kick higher than Keno from TMNT 2 (though I’m pretty sure Green is more a Foot Clan kind of guy), Blue to regale us in tales of his home town – prison, Red to “hit the circles,” and Orange to give out high fives. Just how do they keep the harmonies so tight on “Wish You Were Mine?” How did the fans keep from losing their voices while singing along? Some sort of prison glee club?
And now, as the night’s court appointed stenographer, I interrupt this review for the top 5 things said by Blue and Green at the Beauty Bar on August 26, 2015:
- Blue: “Where am I from? A little town called PRISON.”
- Green: “Hey, front row – why don’t any of yous have a beer for me to steal?”
- Blue: [responding to a fan] “You love me, dude? That’s nice. I wish you were a lady, though.”
- Green: “Seriously. I appreciate that you guys don’t want to leave the front but seriously, go buy beers so I can steal them.”
- Blue: “Look at Red and his stupid drums. Drums are just circles. Real instruments have strings.”
This has been the top 5 things said Blue and Green at the Beauty Bar on August 26, 2015.
War Called Home were the local support and come on, who are you going to get to open a night of Fat Wreck music other than the band named after a Strung Out song? On this night, the guys traded in their usual nerd attire for matching baseball tees, likely signifying a shift to jockdom and letting us know, if ever so subtly, that we might end up trash canned if we didn’t at least tap our toes to their skatepunk jams.
LA’s Spanish Loves Songs were tasked with warming up the crowd, and they got a warm welcome as fans bobbed their heads along to the awesome “Remainder” and “Concrete.” If you love Elway and Menzingers like I do, this is a band you should definitely be checking out (like maybe in a Stripped Down Session soon).
Photos by Aaron Mattern | https://www.flickr.com/photos/akmofoto/