Invasion of the Yuppie Punx (Part Deux) – A Screeching Weasel Concert Review

I am the type of person that wishes I could do everything every time – specifically I speak of concerts. I go to plenty, but not all of them. Sadly there are certain factors I need to look at when I go to a show:

When is the show?  Do I have work or class the next day?  Where is the show?  Can I afford to drive hours away to see said show and then drive home without staying at a hotel? 

Yeah, not the greatest criteria for figuring out if I can hit up a show or now, but it is the truth.  I can not jeopardize my job (even though I am writing this at work) or school by missing a day or being too tired to for that matter.  I am an adult now and even though I do not want to act like one – sometimes I have to.

Case in point:  Screeching Weasel recently made a couple stops near Ohio (but not IN Ohio…).  I could not afford the trip down to Covington or over to Detroit and I knew it well in advance.  A handful of my friends were however able to take in a show.

Jerks.

So being curious to hear how the show went I asked begged my best pals from Columbus, Pete and Mary Alice who went to the Covington show, to write up a little something something about their trip to see the one and only Screeching Weasel.

Take it away Pete (and thank you).


Salad Days
Salad Days

My beautiful wife and I ventured down to Cincinnati/Covington, KY’s Madison Theater for an evening with one of our favorite bands ever, the newly reformed (sans Jughead who had a falling out with you know who) Screeching Weasel.  Much like our recent trip to see NOFX with Brian and Kolb, we stayed at a hotel, choosing the Radisson for our accommodations.  That’s us up there, in our room, happy as clams.

No story of the Yuppie Punx would be complete without a full description of our fantabulous surroundings.  Well, you’re kind of not going to get it here, because the rotating restaurant at the top of the hotel left something to desired.  I mean, my salad was good and all, but the rest of it wasn’t that great.  Not a lot of vegetarian options. The worst part of the experience was that the restaurant employees acted like it was some amazing and luxurious place.  (“Special Occasion?”  You CAN’T be serious, dah-ling).

I got a picture of this family who were sitting behind Mary Alice.  They were hilarious.  Blond wife, blond kids, Dad with a sleazeball ponytail – bigger yuppies than us!
Look out behind you!
Look out behind you!

But anyway, the show.  This is the second time we’ve gotten to see Screeching Weasel, the first time being at last year’s Riot Fest in Chicago.  Now I do have some mixed feelings about seeing the band without Jughead, but Mary Alice couldn’t care less.  Ben Weasel could be standing alone flinging feces at the audience, and she would still pass out from the excitement of seeing “Ben”(Cue girly sighing noise).  But Juggy’s absence is not enough to keep me from seeing the band, disappointing as it is.

We got to the Madison about halfway through the second of three bands.  We still can’t get out of the local-show-starts-late mode of Columbus.  But whatevs, we were in plenty of time to see the Weas.

The venue wasn’t as packed as when we saw NOFX, but it was a good crowd.  For some reason, we were able to smoke inside this time(?).  We decided that perhaps Fat Mike insisted on non-smoking when his band played; I’d believe it.  As I mentioned before, we didn’t have to wait long for Weas to go on, so we got a couple of drinks and scurried to get a front stage spot on the second level behind the pit.  After the second band finished (Shot Baker from Chicago), we waited for about 25-30 minutes for the headliners.  They walked out on stage, made a few inaudible comments, then good ol’ Dan Vapid belted, “CINDY’S ON METHADONE, 1-2-3-4!!!!,” and the band proceeded to launch into the tune from their classic LP My Brain Hurts.

Ben Weasel flanked by Dan Vapid on guitar
Ben Weasel flanked by Dan Vapid on guitar

Now, I’m not one of those “write down the set list” guys, but this set list from Chicagofrom an earlier show this year is pretty darn close. Mary Alice enjoyed snapping many pics of her beloved Ben, and we shouted happily to all the songs we know from over 15 years of faithful listening.  We only didn’t know one song, entitled “Vacation” (the title being take off of the Ramones song “Endless Vacation”), which apparently will be on an upcoming new album.  Oh boy!

Ben seemed to be in his regular grumpy mood, as opposed to a reallygrumpy mood like he was in Chicago.  He paced back and forth on the stage, while the rest of the band happily plowed through an hour’s worth of music, including my personal favorite (“Teenage Freakshow”) and Mary Alice’s personal favorite (“Peter Brady”).  We got thrown a little curve when Ben walked off the stage while the band performed the instrumental “Talk to me Summer,” which was a better move than staying on stage to rock out with no instrument.  Ben didn’t talk to the crowd too much, shy Dan didn’t talk at all.  My favorite spoken moment was Ben’s intro to “Cool Kids,” in which he reassured the crowd that Screeching Weasel never had exclusive parties back stage, but instead would just hang around after the show being sweaty and tired.  It was cool, because they didn’t claim to be overly devoted to their fans, just normal guys who want to go home after the gig ends.
Ben surrounded by two guys we don't know
Ben Surrounded By 2 Random Guys

I wouldn’t say the crowd was insane, as so much were the bouncers.  They were pulling people from the crowd at an unbelievable rate, just to jettison them from the venue stage left.  While I couldn’t see all that was going on in the pit, I had a hard time believing that there could be that many people throwing punches.  Sometimes when I see a bouncer rough someone up, I wonder if they did anything to deserve it.  That’s totally punk of me to think that.

While Mary Alice and I both agree that Screeching Weasel is not the greatest live band in the world, we would gladly see one of the greatest bands in the world perform an average live show any time.  It was a great night with a great band. Pure and simple greatness personified.  Greatly.

A Great Band
A Great Band

After the show, we went back to hotel and drank liquor out of these minuscule glasses.  We also watched the Good Morning Miss Bliss! (later renamed Saved By the Bell) ORIGINAL Pilot on YouTube.  They had none of the classic SBTB characters, and they had an old weird guy playing Mr. Belding.  Then we topped off the night with the order from the new and improved Domino’s Pizza.  I don’t know what exactly Domino’s is claiming they do differently now, because the pizza still sucks.

The Yuppie Punx
The Yuppie Punx

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