Live Review: Gogol Bordello @ 9:30 Club — 5/7/22

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Gogol Bordello performs at 9:30 Club on May 7, 2022. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram: @insomnigraphic)

This is not your babushka’s polka.

In normal times, when you’re about to catch an infamously party-centric, rambunctious act of the likes of Gogol Bordello, your headspace is filled with thoughts of dancing, drinking, and living life to the fullest. You’re not necessarily worried about the geopolitical machinations that insidiously weave its way into the fabric of everyday existence; indeed, performance art is often a means of escape from those quotidien worries.

But, as we are all too well aware, these are not normal times. Strolling up to the venerable 9:30 Club on a cold, wet night in May, I was surreptitiously conscious of the significance of this concert.

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Live Review: PEARS @ Pie Shop — 4/23/22

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PEARS (Photo courtesy Fat Wreck Chords)

“Well, this is a blasty blast.”

For the past couple rotations around the Sun, that thing got in the way of live music for me. It had been over two years since I had seen a band perform in the flesh…to be more specific, 773 days have come and gone since I saw Dead Kennedys rock the shit out of 9:30 Club. So I don’t need to tell you just how goddam excited I was that one of my favorite Fat Wreck Chords bands, PEARS, was gonna be playing at one of my favorite (and crustiest) venues the District has to offer, the Pie Shop.

Not to paint too crass a picture, but like, we’re talking full-on, pre-pubescent hormones excitement level. And boy oh boy, PEARS did not disappoint.

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Live Review: Dead Kennedys @ 9:30 Club — 3/11/20

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Dead Kennedys frontman Skip Greer impressed with flair and deadpan comedy at 9:30 Club on March 11, 2020. (Photo by Paivi Salonen)

Coronavirus couldn’t stop our District’s vulnerable punk population from coming out in droves to support one of the scene’s most iconic bands, Dead Kennedys. Despite increasingly dire news around the global pandemic, and a declaration of emergency from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser mere hours before doors opened, 9:30 Club was packed to near capacity with diehard DK fans eager to see these living legends in the flesh.

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Live Review: The Bouncing Souls @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 12/18/19

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The Bouncing Souls (Photo by Danny Clinch)

“We live our life in our own way, never really listened to what they say.”

The Bouncing Souls electrified the large crowd at The Fillmore Silver Spring on a recent, blustery night as they swung through the DMV on the tail end of the band’s 30th anniversary tour.

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Live Review: Twin Peaks @ Black Cat — 12/11/19

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Twin Peaks (Photo by Cooper Fox)

“Nothing is forever, but don’t let it get you down”

Although surely accustomed to the cold, Chicago’s Twin Peaks received a fiercely warm welcome on this sub-30 degree night recently in our nation’s capital. The 5-piece rock band delighted the nearly sold-out room at Black Cat, showcasing a wide range of musical styles and catchy tunes, not to mention some heavy guitar petting.

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Live Review: Plague Vendor w/ No Parents @ DC9 — 10/11/19

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Plague Vendor (Photo by Robert Hickerson)

“This urgency, it just won’t quit”

Plague Vendor’s recent show at DC9 was an early one, and as I raced to catch my yellow line train I could feel a mounting sense of urgency, driven by the seeping, intoxicating thrill of seeing two Los Angeles-based bands who have earned a reputation for putting on wildly entertaining live shows.

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