The Germs 7/26/06 at Double Door

Last night, Liza, theboss, and I went to go see The Germs play at Double Door here in Chicago. Now I’m not really a big fan of the club for two reasons; they never open the doors on time and the stage lighting generally sucks for a club of that size. As usual, the doors opened late for this show. I happened to be the first in line and I had no less than 25 morons walk up to the club door, pull on it, and then ask me if the doors are open yet. As if I’d be standing in front of the club entrance in the way of the door if it was open! Asshats!

When the doors finally did open, I got my pass from Pat Smear and The Germs’ agent, so I could gain access to the one section of the club where its nice to shoot photos from and that the people weren’t allowed. After having a beer (thanks Liza!), the show started.

Johnny Vomit
Johnny Vomit

Johnny Vomit
Johnny Vomit

Johnny Vomit were the first band up. They sure liked drinking, as the singer often spoke about between songs. He also had a goofy beer hat on that you’d see normally donned by a portly fellow at a sporting event. The music was that brand of metal that was all the rage back in the late 1980’s when all the hardcore bands started growing their hair out and playing solos. The song titles/lyrics were fairly juvenile as well. I didn’t care for them for the most part and while they played a short set, I felt it could have been even shorter. They could very well have formed in the late 80’s and been in a coma the last decade, just now waking up and continuing the band where they left off before “the accident”.

Hewhocorrupts
Hewhocorrupts

Hewhocorrupts
Hewhocorrupts

Hewhocorrupts
Hewhocorrupts

Hewhocorrupts
Hewhocorrupts

Next up were Hewhocorrupts. I have seen them once before and they are pretty entertaining. In between songs they have cheesy 80’s songs playing and the singer would tell stories of various goofy business. As they played their brand of hardcore “power violence” metally thrash, three of the members who were donned in shirts and ties ended up playing in their underwear about half way through the set. I liked them but it seems a part of the crowd didn’t get it and they too were a very odd fit as far as opening for a 1970’s punk band goes.

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

After a bit of a wait, and them hanging a blue inner tube behind the drum riser, The Germs (version 2) took the stage. The crowd had filled in pretty good at this point as well. It was not sold out, but it was a pretty good sized crowd. They opened with “Circle One” which is the one song I feel they shouldn’t play since the opening line is, “I’m Darby Crash” but the fellow singing it is not Darby Crash, he is Shane West, so why not just skip that song, or change the words?

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

From there they pretty much played the entire (GI) album sans “Shut Down” and some of the Cruisin sessions songs like “Lions Share” (a personal favorite of mine) and “My Tunnel”. The three musicians playing were pretty tight and just like the last time I saw this ensemble, they really seemed to be having fun up there playing these songs. Lorna and Pat were often smiling up there on stage. Shane West has the biggest shoes to fill in all of music history I think, and no matter who you put up there, it just isn’t the same, but he did an admirable job in his role. They closed their main set with a song called “Out of Time” which apparently is an old Germs song that never got recorded. Its a shame that it wasn’t because it was really good.

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

The Germs
The Germs

After a few minutes break, they came back for an encore and played “Forming” and “Sex Boy”, both sides of their first single that came out 30 years ago! It’s amazing it has been that long! Overall I enjoyed this more than the last time I saw them at Riot Fest (and the after party). Much like last time, I mostly tuned out the replacement singer and just listened to the music and sort of pictured what it would be like with Darby singing (or not singing, into the mic at least) and ended up enjoying the show much more than I thought I would, even knowing what to expect having seen it before.