Blogpost: Descendents @ First Avenue

Posted by Loren • September 21, 2016

Posted by Loren • September 21, 2016

Descendents, Modern Life Is War, Color TV

First Avenue

Minneapolis, MN

September 15, 2016

The only people luckier than those who get to see the Descendents are those who get to open.

Color TV kicked off the show with a surfy-garage punk vibe as the room filled in, while vets Modern Life Is War played to a mostly interested crowd in a surprise billing of hardcore and pop-punk. While it was fun watching Jeffrey Eaton straddling the banister as crowd control security rushed over, the real star of the show was the Descendents, now on tour in support of their 7th studio album (Hypercaffium Spazzinate, Epitaph, 2016).

“It’s been 20 years since we’ve played here,” Milo announced as they took the stage. You wouldn’t know it other than the gray hairs on both stage and in audience—except perhaps by the swelling enthusiasm of the crowd that seemed to dwarf the excitement of a more regular show.

Descendents live are something special. That’s the bulk of the story. There are bands who come and play a nice show that promotes their new album, then they move on and do it again. Then there are bands where the magic on a record isn’t reproduced, it’s created on stage and makes that record sound dull in comparison. The Ramones had it (or so I hear, I only have their live records to go by) and Descendents have it. Yes, the set list is sort of a best of compilation, but the manic energy from Milo on the mic to Stephen Egerton on the guitar and Karl Alvarez on the bass fill it out. With Bill Stevenson blasting at the kit, they still feel like a group of young kids who enjoy the songs, what they’re doing, and each other. That may sound trite, but it’s important, especially for a band pushing 38 years.

I felt a little young at this show and I guess that’s why. Descendents and I are essentially the same age, so naturally the crowd has a few years on me—though you wouldn’t know it by the atmosphere in the packed room. Despite it being a Thursday night with a lot of scheduled to get up early the next morning, it felt like the weekend. I’m sure 12 hours later it was all grumpy coffee mugs at the breakfast table in their suburban homes mumbling, “I don’t want to grow up” (see what I did there), but time stood still for their hour long set followed by two encores.

As stated, it really was a best of, though with a good chunk of new material and the oldest and best known material peppered within cleverly, never dropping momentum or losing a beat.

It’s tricky to summarize an hour and half of live Descendents because it’s a moment trapped in time where age and calendars and work fade away. The band is older and the stages are bigger, but it doesn’t feel like Milo and company ever grew up, and it feels great.

---

All photography by Loren Green.

 

Gallery: Descendents @ First Avenue on Sept. 15, 2016 (7 photos)

Loren • September 21, 2016

More recent blogposts

Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker

Posted by T • July 29, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker   Having honed and refined channelling her alchemy in the creation of craft beers, the quality of which has left an indelible mark on the firmament of Australian craft brews, Reckless Brewing’s co-founder Grace has and continue to contribute to shaping the DNA of one of the … Read more

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more

The Formative Years – Hardcore Classics, pt. 1

Posted by T • July 23, 2021

The Formative Years – Hardcore classics pt. 1   With ZAP magazine playing a pivotal role in promoting and covering everything New York Hardcore related in a pro-active and prominent manner, Europe and specifically Germany have always been prime markets for hardcore emanating from the Big Apple.  The result was that “NYHC” became a veritable label and trademark and almost … Read more

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records

Posted by T • July 22, 2021

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records  The first time I heard about Ebullition Records was when there was talk around the campfire of that a gentleman that was known to me as a Maximum Rock’n’roll / No Answer zine contributor, i.e. Kent McClard, was planning to release a full length of one of my favourite bands from Orange County, California, … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate and Six String

Posted by T • July 18, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate Brewhouse and Six String Brewing   As we have outlined with our previous coverage of Holgate Brewhouse, over the last twenty years the Victorian brewery has established itself firmly on the forefront of innovative quality producers of ales that honour both the classic styles from the old world and the ever expanding and … Read more

Water of Life – Hellfire / Kilderkin Distilleries

Posted by T • July 15, 2021

Water of Life – Hellfire Distillery / Kilderkin Distillery   If you have followed this series with a modicum of interest and harbour a weak spot for fantastic, artisanal spirits, Tasmania would be doubtlessly be have made it on your to-visit list quite a while ago. Visiting the southernmost state of Australia twice a year, I never cease to discover … Read more

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Posted by T • July 12, 2021

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society   There is certainly no shortage of whisky clubs and subscription services these days and for anyone remotely into discovering new flavour nuances and variations of their favourite bottlings, joining one can prove to be a viable option. The experience those services offer ranges from basic monthly tasting kits that might … Read more

Water of Life – Milton Rum & Mad Monkey Distillery

Posted by T • July 11, 2021

Water of Life – Milton Rum and Mad Monkey Distillery   Rum has a long and at times chequered history reaching back more than six hundred years to the times dominated by Colonialism, where it did not only serve to make pirates drunk but as a means for trade. Fast forward to the present day and the renaissance that the … Read more