Death Is Not Glamorous, RockFist
Uncle Lou's, Orlando, Fl Sept. 25, 2007
by Jen Cray
Before a band hits big, before they can even get the smallest venues to book them a gig, they'll play anywhere with a power outlet and a floor. It's in these toddler years of a band's career that I love to catch them play. They're energetic, they're excited and they're grateful for any attention a stranger will offer their performance. This was the sort of show I got to be part of for my first show at Orlando's best kept secret, Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall.
Uncle Lou's is a teeny tiny bar next to the best tattoo shop in town (Devotion). They've got a jukebox, free pool, $2 beers and no stage. The bands for the evening's all-ages punk show set up on the floor in the back corner, and so small the place was that the under 50 people in attendance caused the bar to be packed out the front door.
A sweet little bunch of local ruffians calling themselves Rockfist opened up the night. They seem to be brand new as a band, still working out the kinks, but- man- do they have heart! Their vocalist never stopped smiling, even when he was screaming his bloody head off in the faces of members of the other bands! Those guys were enjoying themselves!
Most of the crowd seemed to have come out for Norway's Death Is Not Glamorous. Playing melodic hardcore (in the Lifetime sense), and very quickly tearing the roof off of the place, vocalist Christian Medaas embraced the lack of a stage and incorporated just about everybody in the crowd into the performance.
These Norweigan imports were aggressive without being obnoxious; heavy without crossing into dense. The set ended with Medaas at the base of a friendly pile-up atop the pool table. You won't see that at the House of Blues!
The reason I had come out for this bill was Oregon's Broadway Calls. Pop punk at its most melodic (Green Day, Alkaline Trio) never fails to soften me up, and BC do just that. Sure they bear the slightest shades of emo, but that's forgivable because of the collection of perfect 3-minute bursts of joy. "Back To Oregon," "Call It Off," "Bad Intentions"- I was like a giddy schoolgirl when they played these songs live! My face was behind my camera so noone could tell, but I was loving it!
I can ignore the fact that these boys would not be horrifically out of place on a mainstream tour. And should they end up on such a tour, I vow to not call them "sell-outs." If and when that day occurs, when mall punks sink their teeth into them, I'll just nod my head and say told you they were good. Till then, these guys are all mine!
To see more photos of this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com.