DEAD KENNEDYS, Petrol Girls, Pogreb X, Vox Populi, Eksodus - Zagreb, Boogaloo, 27.10.2016. - english
Upon hearing that I got the honor of writing a report for Eksodus, Vox Populi, Pogreb X, Petrol Girls & Dead Kennedys at Boogaloo, I must admit that my excitement turned into panic because losing my report writing virginity to such an amazing lineup is more than mind-blowing. Being myself, I ferociously rode my broken bike and made it just in time to grab a watered down beer (a decision I am regretting as I write these lines) before the first opening act.
DEAD KENNEDYS, Petrol Girls, Pogreb X, Vox Populi, Eksodus - Zagreb, Boogaloo, 27.10.2016. - galerija
When the guys from Eksodus showed up on stage, I immediately remembered hearing them live a while ago and was rather pleased to repeat the experience. Unfortunately, people often forget that it is essential to support your local bands! The band started playing exactly on the clock but in front of approximately 30 people and even though the musicians tried to lighten up the mood, the crowd barely moved at all. The back vocal in the band probably sensed it and her frantic jumping in the beginning of the show turned into a disappointed but nevertheless great communication with the audience.
Eksodus sound old school in the best way possible, just what you would imagine a punk band to sound like, almost perfectly in rhythm but just enough out of tune so it would sound appealing and rebellious. Their lyrics are critical of today’s system but in a much simpler manner than those of bands that were to appear on the stage later. The frontman’s performance was sturdy with moments of honest frustration when he sang ''I really hate your world''. You can see that he is truly living his music. They performed other great songs like ''FuckingRadiation'' but also a cover of ex-Yu classic Vjeranpas which finally made the audience move. It was time for the band and beer number two.
Thankfully, the concert hall started to fill out and Vox Populi, a hard core punk band from Beograd. Honestly, I was not acquainted with the band before the performance so I expected them to sound something like the previous band but as they turned the volume up, hit the base, the ear breaking growl from the stage mesmerized me. They owned the stage. The frontman’s presence was unassailable; he paced, danced and went wild, as well as his other band members, capturing perfectly the gist of punk-rock. Their sound was powerful and believable. The audience came to life upon hearing ''Budućnost'' and ''Pobuna'', songs that could easily be used as anthems to latest generations of youngsters in ex-Yu countries. ''Haos u mojo glavi'' brought most of the people who were drinking outside onto the floor and you could really get the feeling that this was going to be a highly visited event. Going for a third beer was more difficult because the audience wa already preparing for PogrebX.
Adolf, the frontman, and his nonchalant, later pretty angry appearance, set Boogaloo to a moving frenzy. Everyone sang along to ''Čovjek čovjeka naziva čovjekom'', ''Bagra'', ''Trpi kurvo'', ''Advokat''. Even the frontman Adolf Soldo noticed that the young crown knew all their lyrics. I enjoyed the gig so much that I just went and jumped in the audience, not noting down anything but letting myself jump to their dark upbeat guitars and cynical lyrics.
After Pogreb X finished there was no room left in the audience. The atmosphere was culminating and it was time for the fourth band - The Petrol girls. Petrol girls sound so much rawer live making their performance extremely intense, real. Liepa was powerful behind the base, the guys gave their best performance but Ren’s vocals scared every sexist in the audience. It is sad that I have to say this in 21st century but we never needed a band like this more than we do now, a band that is going to talk about consent, human rights, female orgasm and all other real issues that don’t seem to be an issue because we still stigmatize the victims. It is refreshing to have a female advocate in the line of great punk bands, giving a voice to all the people who had a misfortune to be born with an uterus in this society. ITS MY BODY AND MY CHOICE DONT TOUCH ME.
Petrol girls performance way brilliant, not a single moment went without the audience being in awe, if not with Rends ridiculously brutal vocals, then with the beautiful synergy the band showed last night. Their performance in Croatia was perfectly timed with the shameful and backward rise of female-repressing politics and as a woman I crave strong feminist bands and when I say “feminist” I mean it as “fundamental human rights” bands. ''Ren, will you marry me?'' :)
An then...the moment some of us have been waiting for 35 years, and some of us for “only” 14... the moment when Klaus, EastBay Ray, Peligro and Skip appeared on the stage my face pulled an embarrassingly big as I heart the first beat of ''Forward to death''. Dead Kennedys opened with this classic and just kept rolling hit after hit, for some reason ignoring ''Bedtime for Democracy''. Klaus was so energetic, full of whit and rocked so hard that I couldn’t help but take my phone out to take a picture. Yes, I became that person... and I am sorry but I got to ask: ''did Peligro sell his soul to the devil because that man looks like it is 1981 and he just joined the band!'' So fresh, on beat and angrily energetic that it felt like time travel. And let’s not forget the best guitar player ever, East Bay Ray. I loved the fact that his coolnes was paused with a few giggles, showing that the guys are still having so much fun playing. It was a pleasure to be brutally pushed against the fence in the first row.
I don't know if it is just a cute coincidence or some kind of a sign, but the last time I was in Boogaloo was at Jello Biafra's 2010 concert which blew me away. I must admit that I was more than skeptical about Skip replacing Jello but as it turns out, Skip did not replace Biafra, he just gave the band a new layer to their performance. While Jello always seemed to be a theatrical rabble-rouser, Skip gave the performance a slightly bigger mirthful note, not lacking any of the predecessor's energy.
People were delirious and I couldn’t resist to go and get a bruise shaped souvenir in the mosh pit. The set list flew by in a heartbeat leaving most of the crowd really satisfied. ''Bleed for me'', ''Too Drunk to Fuck'', ''Nazi punks Fuck off'', it was all there! But when I heard the first note of ''Holiday inCambodia'' my body started to react to it with shivers, goose bumps and a huge idiotic smile. I heard JelloBiafra and Guantanamo SchoolofMedicine perform it last year and back then I thought the band did a pretty good job but this tonight was musical perfection, this was it. At that point I became really sad (I am sorry Mr. Greer) that it was not Jello up there with them but hey, that’s life.
The crowd was delightfully diverse, from fifteen year old kids with brand new Doc Martens to a 60+ crowd singing along to every single song. I don't know why, but when I see so many different people all in one place sharing energy and love for music I can't help but think that there's still hope for humanity because all of these bands tonight spoke of real issues, social injustice, political hypocrisy, clearly stating that punk isn’t just music and it is certainly not dead, it’s a very lively fight for a better world, a world which I am proud to be a part of.