Fugazi and Clone of Society

Ferocious and intense punk, bordering on industrial, by Fugazi livened up the Fort Reno park in DC today. It was a free concert and there was a good turnout. The stage was very minimalistic: the only lights were two spotlights from the truck which housed the soundboard, besides the walking lights belonging to the park, red blinking lights from a nearby radio tower, and the fireflies. The sound system was nothing terribly fancy. Yet Fugazi played well, and I came out with the impression that they're a good, solid, and talented band.

I am not too familiar with their music, but I can see where bands along the lines of Prong and White Zombie derive some of their influences. Originating from DC, they perform a free concert every year at Ft. Reno park. Their punk is very much influenced by classic punk groups like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, but it is also extremely innovative, mixing slow and fast tempos with a lot of feedback noise, which gives the industrial/hardcore feel. The show was very tight and the band didn't falter when some of the speakers or instruments cut out.

The comments the Fugazi frontman (Ian McKaye) made were kinda interesting. He didn't think much of the crowd surfers: "save it for Woodstock '94, why don't you?" I guess he didn't think much of Woodstock '94 either. His comments are not surprising, since the band has remained fiercely independent, releasing records on their self-founded Dischord label and refusing to do anything that would involve the corporate world. He also said "you know, I'm not in my 20s, but I'd be really pissed off at the way older people put down people in their 20s saying they're apathetic or non-apathetic or whatever."

We came in a bit late and caught only 2 songs by the opening band, Clone of Society. They sounded okay. All in all, it was a good show. Not too many cops, no alcohol, no enforcing of any rules---fun. But people have to be slobs and leave their trash around.

Music ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org || August 8, 1994