Shows I Saw Last Week

Skeptic?/Kids on Coffee/Original Shake Charmers
Sipsey Tavern – July 23, 2011

The sound at Sipsey Tavern is punishingly loud. A dozen dudes, most of whom are over 30, are moshing like juveniles. I was one of them. Before long, all these dudes have ripped off their shirts—shirts that advertised bands like Fear, Dead Kennedys, and Black Flag, the best of ’80s hardcore. Skeptic bottles up this esthetic and delivers it with authority and authenticity. Singer Barron Skeptic keeps popping up, like a groundhog, at various points above the fray. His vocalization is not so much singing as it is a pronouncement or perhaps a scolding.

Before Skeptic was Kids on Coffee, a Descendents tribute band from Montgomery. Their repertoire comprised mainly songs the Descendents recorded between 1981 and 1987, a period during which the band recorded their most memorable material, most fans would agree. KoC’s renditions are very true to the originals and brought back a lot of memories for me. The first time I heard them, driving to New Orleans one hot summer night, I asked the girl driving who this band was, just as Milo sang, “We’re the proud, the few, the Descendents.” The punk rock girl driving the car rolled her eyes and said, “The Descendents. Duh.”

The openers, Original Shake Charmers, set the goodtime mood with traditional surf/garage rock. The band members wore matching shirts, as fits the genre. Front man Lars Espensen toggled between singing and playing surfy, 60s style tenor sax.


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