Sunday, February 28, 2010

April 26th, 1997: Damnation AD, Floorpunch, Hands Tied, Better Than a Thousand, Envy @ Safari Club, Washington, DC

I didn't actually get to go to this show but I've always kept the flyer. I almost never keep flyers for shows I didn't go to, but this was Better Than a Thousand's first show, so it's some real history here. I didn't have a car for the first few years that I was at college so I was at the mercy of the very few punk friends I went to school with to give me rides to shows. I think Scott Peters, who is involved with Baltimore's Dead Venues blog, was my last hope for a ride to this show, but it was the same day as UMBC's annual outdoor festival known as Quadmania, and I think he was more interested in seeing Nerf Herder and getting trashed on campus than driving to DC for a bunch of hardcore bands. Epic fail, in my eyes anyway. I remember being told that a good chunk of BT1K's setlist was classic Youth of Today songs. This also would have been one of my last chances to catch a show at the legendary Safari Club, which I never did since I had no transportation.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

April 19th, 1997: Vision, Ensign, Disbelief, 97A, Bridgewater @ Crofton Fire Hall, Crofton, MD

Although I started going to shows in 1992, I somehow managed to lose all of the flyers I saved prior to this one. I still have hopes that they'll pop up in a box in my parents' basement one day, but it's more than likely that they accidentally got thrown out during a mass purging of junk from my bedroom closet sometime during college, when my parents wanted to turn my old bedroom into a guest room. So here is the oldest flyer I still have on hand. I can't remember if this was the first show I saw at Crofton Fire Hall (I moved to Maryland from New Jersey in September of 1994), but the place hosted some great punk and hardcore shows in the mid-90s. I believe Mike from Disbelief and his brother did most of the hardcore shows. I remember never really being into 97A and then really disliking them after this show when their singer, Chris Kelly, talked shit on the kids he skated with earlier in the day at the Lansdowne skate park, which was where I spent more time than I did in class for most of my college career. I'm not sure if the illustration was pulled from something else or was created for the flyer, but I've never seen it anywhere else. I really liked Vision's "One and The Same" EP at the time and Ensign's debut EP was on constant rotation. Also, Bridgewater is still one of my favorite local bands. This was a rad show.

Commentary from Alex DiMattesa (Government Warning, Grave Mistake Records):
"I don't remember actually seeing this (probably because I luckily learned early on that it was best for a n00b to stand towards the back during these shows), but apparently during 97a's set, Dave Nada got on his skateboard and rode it into the pit, only to be scolded by Chris Kelly on the mic for doing so. What a poser."

Pack Rat or Archivist?

For as long as I've been going to shows I've been saving the flyers for them. Partly out of a need to have a keepsake or memento and partly out of an appreciation for the often hard work and artistic appeal. I've got folders full of them, though I unfortunately somehow lost everything I had pre-April 1997. That's a real bummer cuz there were some great City Gardens, University of the Arts, Fieldsboro Fire Hall, and more show flyers in there. Oh well, life goes on. I've often thought about taking the time to digitize all of these flyers and present them for others to see. Some people from Baltimore started the Dead Venues blog, dedicated to archiving the history of this city's underground music and the people and places that gave it homes. I recently wrote up a history of the Supreme Imperial/Chop Shop and offered to scan a bunch of flyers for the place for them, and due to that, I finally had my excuse to start digitizing all of my old flyers. So here I present to you a gallery of this collection, along with some photos that I've taken over the years, and maybe the occasional odd and end as they come up. Look for daily posts to keep you entertained. Please feel free to help me fill in the blanks or share your memories of these shows or the people involved.