I am in a state of absolute exhaustion right now. I went to the Grind Tour last night at the Opera House and didn’t make it to sleep until 5 AM. The Mad Caddies were playing with Satanic Surfers and the Loved Ones and I honestly cannot tell you who rocked more. All three killed! I went in expecting the Caddies to rock my night (per always) with the Surfers a close second, but holy shit the Loved Ones blew me away. I’d never seen them play before, but had heard good things—still, they are so fucking good!
Their singer Dave has such a great voice, kind of like Milo from the Descendents, but less snotty. As soon as he spotted me on the side stage he yelled “Yeah, fuckin’ NUBS!” right into the mic. It was awesome. And he’s a crazy onstage to boot, all throwing beers up in the air and letting them smash on the stage floor. The whole set I couldn’t stop the moving, and that’s the way I love to feel.
The Caddies played a lot of their really old stuff, which was really comforting. I love being at a show where I can sing along with almost every song. It’s like collective karaoke. The music of the Caddies is something I like to call Punk Rock with Horns. They’ve got too hard an edge to be branded as mere ska, but they still employ the cheery, upbeat fun of the horn section. What a great fucking mix!
The Surfers were as awesome as I expected. They played so many of my favourite tunes and had such great energy on stage. This wasn’t the kind of show where the crowd is standing around bored out of their minds waiting on the headlining band. The kids were completely losing it, singing along to all three bands and that is what I call a good fucking lineup.
One weird thing that kept happening throughout the night was that every fucking person who dove into the pit ended up falling right to the ground. For some reason (maybe the tides?) the crowd wasn’t into having bodies on its surface, so whenever someone took the plunge, everybody would move ever so slightly, just enough to let the diver pass right through the people-mass straight to the hard concrete floor. It looked so brutal from where I was standing. Every time someone went for it. I kept thinking they were going to land on their neck and have to be dragged out all crooked at the end of the night, but then a little while later you’d see the same person back up for more. Even the Loved Ones’ bassist Spider took a couple brutal-looking dives. Each time that guy flew off stage he would land flat on his back. The third time he even broke his glasses. Such ridiculous dedication to the pursuit of radness.
After the show I got thrown in the Surfers’ van (literally) and we hit the town with the Loved Ones. I can’t even begin to tell you what quality dudes they all are. The Surfers are crazy Swedes who welcomed me on their bus with open arms. I was kind of bummed I didn’t get to party much with the Caddies, who I’ve been friends with for years, but I am really glad I had the opportunity to party with the others. It totally justified the ruin of my current state. Anyway, if the Grind Tour is coming to your town, you have to check it! For reals!