Live In Vancouver (07/01/16)The Venue - Vancouver, BC
By Bobby Gorman
Outside The Venue on Friday night was a sight rarely seen down on Vancouver’s Granville Street as crust punks littered the sidewalks. Decked out in black, ripped clothes, dreadlocks, piercings and tattoos – the amalgamation of people was a gathering quiet different than the regular night club crowd. But they were there for a reason: to see the venerable and legendary Leftover Crack from New York City during their first ever show in the city on none other than Canada Day itself.
Opening the evening of dirty crust punk was the criminally underrated Houston four piece Days’n’Daze. After driving eleven straight hours through the rockies to get here in time, the band was a little out of it at times. Half the band seemed tired and just wanting to feel the comfort of their bed while the other half teetered on the edge of hilarious delirium, bringing their excitement to new heights. They play a brand of folk punk built off the basics – an acoustic guitar, guttural voice, washtub bass, washboard and – creating a unique flare – the trumpet and occasional ukulele. Dual vocalists Jesse Sendejas and Whitney Flynn traded off one another, giving a raspy growl to their songs of rebellion, love and masturbation. The two knew how to work the crowd, particularly Flynn who was energetic, expressive and alive. She seemed genuinely pleased, shocked and embarrassed when their named appeared in lights behind them and you couldn’t help but catch their contagious optimism.
They were out of place at The Venue, and a smaller stage would have had them feeling much more at home; but the crowd made the most of it and used the time to sing, dance, drink and catch up with old friends.
If music truly connects people to one another, this set showed that connection happen in real life.
Then, the legendary Leftover Crack stepped on stage fronted by the enigmatic Scott Surgeon, better known as Stza Crack. The politically active singer led the crowd through a mixture of Leftover Crack songs, Choking Victim tracks and cover songs. They brought Flynn back up on stage for Bedbugs and Beyond, pulled out a Cyndi Lauper cover with Money Changes Everything and travelled through memory lane for Nazi White Trash, The Good The Bad & The Leftover Crack and Gay Rude Boys Unite.
Those who waited fifteen plus years for them to finally come to town ate every word up; but it was when they played that they succeeded and the show slowed down whenever Stza spoke. He seemed long winded and rambling, never really reaching a point or trying too hard to be funny. The cover of Summer of ’69 didn’t need a three minute speech build up, especially after standing through what felt like five minutes of darkness while they did their scheduled encore break.
His speeches may not have been a success, but the music was – and the crust punks, well they just ate it up.