A year ago, I never would have guessed that I would be spending this New Year’s Eve with a bunch of people in studded vests. But upon hearing the news that my punk rock father got us tickets to ex-lead singer of the Dead Kennedys Jello Biafra, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to see one of punk music’s legends in the flesh.
The show started with two local hardcore punk bands, one of which (Joy Subtraction) was fantastic. After a long intermission, the classic band TSOL emerged from the wings. They played all their classics, though it was really amusing seeing a bunch of nondescript 50 year old guys singing about necrophilia. The lead singer, John Grisham, spent just as much time talking about his 4 marriages as he did playing slam-dancing-inspiring music.
Then came Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine. Jello ran out on stage wearing a “blood” soaked lab coat with the words “Uncle Sam” on the back in duck tape. He did the very obvious new year’s countdown (though it was a few minutes late) and continued to shed layers. Next outfit featured a shirt made from an actual American flag that was supposedly illegal to wear due to the fact that it desecrated the national symbol. In between songs (and during the frequent equipment malfunctions) Jello ranted and raved about national and state politics, leaving the crowd aching for the next song to begin. The songs were short, but they were accompanied by biafra’s very fitting dance moves.
This show was really fun. And I think the best part about it was the fact that literally everyone was having a great time. The Denver punk community is diverse, but very tightknit. Seeing everyone come together is another reminder of how special our city really is.
Photos and review by Alexis Aaeng