The Scene: Angry and cold crust punks braved a snowy winter Saturday night to see their favorite Skunk Rock band Leftover Crack in Englewood at the Gothic Theatre. The attendees were not fashion punks, so this was a relatively dressed-down event, a stark contrast to most of the larger concerts in a town that loves to sport its punk flair. It has been over a year since the band was last in town for the Summer Grind Festival, and fans were not going to miss this show. The ticket was cheap for a larger event at the venue, a mere twenty dollars for four bands, which allowed more fans the opportunity to attend the event.
Opener: The Rotten Blue Menace. Two members of the opening band sported another Denver band the Potato Pirates’ shirts. The Denver local punk scene is a tight-knit group, with locals always showing support for other local bands. Potato Pirates’ singer Vinny Capaldo was seen in the front of the show returning the support The Rotten Blue Menace. The band members were young, like most of the early crowd. Drummer Gordy Demeter played fast as the band played a few punk songs, and a few fast-paced skunk rock tunes. The crowd was slowly filing in, but the amount of lone head bops were paltry at first in comparison to the talent the band was displaying. Singer/guitarist Jack Oberkirsch said he wanted to see some stage diving, to which an audience member obliged, promptly falling into the crowd on his head. The balcony filled up faster than the pit; Leftover Crack formed in 1998, putting most fans in the thirty-something age group, some not willing to go into the pit anymore, feeling more comfortable in the old man section. The Rotten Blue Menace played “CKA”, “Going Blind,” “Estado de Policia,” and “We The People,” as well as a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Freeze Up” that got the entire crowd singing. The band is currently gearing up for the realease of their first EP Going Blind. At the end of their set, Oberkirsch stage dove, but the fans rallied for this one, and multiple hands reached out to support him, and carry the singer back to the stage. Overall, The Rotten Blue Menace put on a great performance, and the crowd shared a general sense of camaraderie during the set break.
Opener: Truckasaurus. The singer of Truckasaurus, known only as “Robot” to fans, came out on stage with his trademarked 3-D glasses. As they cut into their set list, the crowd seemed familiar with the band’s songs, singing along with the whoa’s. By the fourth song, the crowd had filled in, the pit expanded, and beers were seen flying through the air. The band debuted their new fan club at the show, called the “Tard Core Fan Club.” For five dollars fans got a pair of 3-D glasses, a book of matches with the bands’ logo, a sticker, and a membership card. The card allows holders to receive discounts on merchandise and shows. The band played songs off of their new EP I Can’t Believe it’s Not Better!, including “I Wanna Be At Large”, “Feed Her to the Dogs”, and “Boulder High,” as well as several old favorites. Truckasaurus played a solid set, and the crowd loved them.
Opener: The Repercussions. The Repercussions‘ are a Rocksteady Punk style mixes Reggae and Punk, and drummer Nick Dolan played an infectious beat on Saturday that was perfectly suited for the crowd at hand. With so many opening bands playing, the majority of the crowd was drunk by this time. Fans started to get rowdy, many began pushing each other and trying to start fights in every direction. Sam Goering’s saxophone was spot-on and gives the band a different sound than other bands from the genre. They played an awesome sing-a-long song “I See It All” from their album Observer Effect. The crowd danced and heads bopped along in time with smiles on their faces.
Leftover Crack: The ska-core band started the show with “Homeo-Apathy” and the crowd exploded; before the end of the song, front man Scott Sturgeon, AKA Stza Crack, pushed one of the many incessant fans trying to jump onstage off of it. Next, they played “Life is Pain” and “One Dead Cop.” Left Over Crack sounded great, but the lead microphone wasn’t turned up high enough to really hear Stza’s lyrics. When the band played “500 Channels” (a song by Choking Victim, a band that both Sturgeon and bassist Alec Baillie were in together), everyone in the crowd screamed the chorus, “And when there is no hope, I smoke some crack! I shoot some dope!” The next song, “Atheist Anthem” cued a wave of crowd surfers and a few fights broke out. The band played “Gay Rude Boys Unite,” “Stop the Insanity,” “Crack City Rockers,” and then “Ya Can’t Go Home,” before they played another Choking Victim track, “Infested.”
By this time, the entire crowd was in fight mode, with friends slapping one another and pushing each other. Leftover Crack then played “Rock the 40Oz.” and finished their set with “Born to Die.” Denver fans weren’t ready to say goodbye to the band and started repeatedly chanting, “We Want More Crack,” which the band obliged by playing another Choking Victim track, “Crack Rock Steady”–from which the opening band for the evening, The Rotten Blue Menace, takes it name. The lyrics cry, “Are you ready to stop? The rotten blue menace. Let’s go kill us a cop.” To introduce the next song, “Nazi White Trash,” Sturgeon said, “I heard there’s a lot of Nazis in this town.” It was a harmless comment, but the crowd cheered for it, which sounded absurd and wrong to hear a giant theater screaming for Nazis. The band did a second encore, ending the night with “Burn Them Prisons.” Fans left the theater sweaty and bruised, but with smiles on their faces, due to a superb performance from Leftover Crack.
Stage Presence: A+
Set/Light Show: F