REAGAN YOUTH at Clash, 06/28/2008

Tonight I went to see Reagan Youth simply because they played only 5 minutes from where I live and because they are one of the inventors of political hardcore punk. But to be honest I had pretty much made up my mind about the whole affair beforehand, so I didn`t even bring my camera. I did not get disappointed. It was everything I despise about the current punk scene. The „real“ punk scene. The big one. Not the small, insignificant scene where I feel at home.

While I was watching, I made a list in my head of all the wrongs that I saw there:

1. Once you went into the place the bouncers wouldn`t let you back out. Bouncers always make me feel like I`m going into a place that is so dangerous that it needs bouncers to protect me from it. A bad feeling to start with. Not letting people out again is common practice in bigger venues but the Clash is a punk club with a very bad ventilation system. A couple of hundred people sweating, made it really hot inside and you could see the smoke staying in the air and not moving. Okay, the smoke was coming from my cigarettes but I would have gone outside to smoke if they had let me. It was no fun.

2.The minute Reagan Youth started, the worst kind of bullies, Berlin`s punk scene has to offer, dominated the „pit“. Shirtless, bald-headed macho idiots. You have all seen the type before. I`m not going to have fun dancing with those kind of people. Yea, they moshed really hard…

3.The two surviving members of Reagan Youth, two regular looking dudes, had made a very bad choice in recruiting the new young, punk-looking singer. It was like punk rock karaoke. If you remember the voice of Reagan Youth you`ll remember the hatred, spitting out the words to every song. Songs like „Are you happy“ and „U.S.A for Anarchy“ were sneering, dissatisfied, angry punk rock. That was what was great about these songs. This new guy was only singing along. And everybody with him…

Any singer of any band that is playing the current diy hc punk scene today, could have blown him off the stage in a second. In my opinion, one of the most special things about diy hc punk music is, is that it is still the only music where true anger, despair and grief about the conditions we live in, are expressed with credibility and without posing. These are genuine human emotions that can not and should not be faked.

In a way it was good, that I went. It confirmed my belief, that our little scene, as insignificant and small it may be and as much as I`m at odds with a lot of things that are going on in it, is still the best little scene there is.


5 Antworten to “REAGAN YOUTH at Clash, 06/28/2008”

  1. LastTranzMishun Says:

    I saw them play and thought it was awesome. It sounds like u would be disappointed no matter how good they were. There are currently 3 original members in Reagan Youth, Paul Cripple, Al Pike and Javier Aka Johnny Aztec. As far as the singer he is young but, age shouldnt matter if the music sounds good…which yes brings me to the music. Youuuu are way off comparing 80’s hardcore punk to what is considered HC today. Where people who can’t sing instead scream incoherant babble over tired punk riffs. If you feel at home there, I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you havent listened to Reagan Youth enough, Dave sang angrily but he actually sang! He didnt scream, anger is not not always best by screaming but through the lyrics. You say that any singer in the current HC scene could blow the new singer Pat away? Find one that can actually sing songs like it’s a beautiful day or one holy bible. Don’t dare hold Reagan Youth up to the hardcore of the day. they are a band of actual musicians not punks that know only punk music and can only play their instruments enough to get by in the genre. Ry came from a time when HC punk 1st started in the 80s, when bands were influened by the new philosophies of the punk movement but also by the great actual musicians and bands that came before them who werent punk but knew how to play their instrument and write amazing rock, Zepplin, Hendrix, The Who, Sabbath I could go on and on. If you ask Paul, these were the bands that he and Dave Insurgent loved. All music has to start somewhere and be influnenced by someone.

  2. mischalke04 Says:

    Thanks for pointing out my mistakes. I wasn`t sure about the facts.
    If you like the current Reagan Youth that`s fine. Of course the music sounded good and most of the people at the show had a lot of fun too.

    The only thing I`m saying is that I`m holding them, and any other group that is renuniting, up to the level of intensity that made them cult groups in the first place. If initially they had just wanted to be good rock musicians they wouldn`t have called their band Reagan Youth and made some of the most political punk of their time. I`m 42 and I spend most of the 80s in the hardcore punk scene and I remember how they made me feel back then. Most people thought hardcore was garbage and didn`t think it was good rockin`music and most certainly wouldn`t have called what Dave Insurgent was doing, singing. To them it was:“…people who can`t sing instead scream incoherent babble over tired punk riffs“.

    I wouldn`t be listening to hardcore punk now if it wasn`t for young groups who still want to explode on stage. And some of them in real life too. If it comes to that, then yes I do think most young, angry harcore singers still carry that emotion much better than old fucks like me. And that`s what I enjoy.


  3. Kelly Kaiser Says:

    As a matter of fact, Reagan Youth has always made music that justified being played along with their positive message. If you think music is always to be secondary to a positive punk rock message then why even bother having any sort of decent music at all, just rant and rave about the ills of society over the sounds of a blender competing with a vacuum cleaner…. oh wait, that’s what the band Nausea does isn’t it? Sure you’d like that crap, wouldn’t you. But Reagan Youth, they can play their instruments, extremely well so people couldn’t actually say their brand of punk was garbage, and more people are bound to listen to the lyrics if the music is way better than garbage. And if that doesn’t jibe with the way you think they should present themselves these days; cool looking angry guys that suck on their instruments, and bore the out of people with their lame ass sings, oh wait, that’s Agnostic front, right? Maybe you should consider that you have no clue as to what Reagan youth was ever really about, otherwise you wouldn’t have already made up your mind before seeing them perform. talk about having a closed mind. So go listen to a vacuum cleaner competing with a blender since that’s the sound that obviously impress you, and let people with real taste in music indulge in their performance of positive message mixed with kick ass punk rock

  4. mischalke04 Says:

    Dear Kelly,

    it`s kind of sad that the only controversy this site generates is some band playing the oldies curcuit these days. If this was only about musical taste and the fact that you like what REAGAN YOUTH are doing today, there would be no discussion. That`s okay, fine by me.

    A large part of hardcore punk has always been about content and attitude. The fact that you care so much about „decent“ music and „playing your instruments extremely well“ makes me guess that you wouldn`t have listened to this type of music when it was invented some 25 years ago. People that leaned towards these things listened to U2 and UB40. Music with a positive message mixed with kick ass bla bla..

    Today a lot of the original early 80`s hardcore has lost it`s initial impact and only sounds like any other established oldies music. I bought most of these records when they came out and I still love hardcore but I wouldn`t be listening to it today if it were for purely nostalgic reasons. There were some really fucked up people in the punk scene in the 80`s but also some of the most intelligent, creative and inspiring people I ever met. Most of those left the scene after a couple of years because they were progressing faster then the scene. The progressive, anti-conservative element has always been crucial in hardcore. Most of the bands featured on this site are genuinely angry about this system we have to live in and they do not sugar-coat their bitterness. I firmly believe that they will be remembered some 25 years from now because of their radical music and because they were the only ones speaking up in these fucked up times.

    A political hardcore punk band that fails to adress the current state that this world is in, is not worth to be called that. I heard REAGAN YOUTH are going to record a new album. Let`s see how they adress the obcene stock-markets, the on-going war in Irak, widespread Islamophobia and Racism with anger and conviction. I`m ready to be surprised…

    Best wishes

  5. […] UPCOMING SHOWS! The boring REAGAN YOUTH discussion seems to be ongoing. See the recent comments here […]

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