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.