Naked Aggression Di Piazza's 7/24/14 Di Piazzas was serving up pints of beer, slices of pizza and slabs of punk rock on Thursday night, thanks to Poor Kids Radio, as Long Beach welcomed underground punk bands Naked Aggression and Opposition Rising.
A crowd of around a hundred people showed up to catch Naked Aggression, who played after midnight to an all ages crowd with many younger, enthusiastic fans screaming up front with the old school punks who saw the band back in the '90s. Formed in 1990 in Wisconsin, the band's current line up is made up of founding member/vocalist Kirsten Patches, and guitarist Craig Cano, bassist Meghan Mattox and drummer Aaron Austin.
Patches and Mattox made a perfect musical pair and were accented perfectly by the rhythm and riffs of Cano, and a smashing performance by Austin. The band's 45 minutes set rocked, the songs were furious, with Patches even admitting in the middle of the set with a smile, 'I've had a fucked up day so I'm ready to fuck shit up!" Fans screamed in approval. The rage and raw nature of hardcore political punk is best experienced in a live setting and Naked Aggression invoked the spirit of such great bands as Crass, Vice Squad and Subhumans.
Naked Aggression's songs have always emphasized a liberal stance of being anti-war, pro-choice, in favor of feminism, and standing against oppression, corruption and racism. Fans in Long Beach got to hear the band rage through sing along and fist pumping punk songs such as 'Religious Lies,' 'Ode To A Fucked Up World,' 'False Hope,' 'Your Nightmare My Life,' 'Over The Top' and 'Killing Floor,' among others. Fans directly in the front, circle pitted and sang along with Patches and Mattox at every opportunity.
Boston hardcore punk band Opposition Rising played prior to Naked Aggression and took a it of time to get things amped up in the crowd, due to the antagonistic nature and stage presence of the vocalist, who was insistent fans move in close and slam dance hard. The band was formed in 2010 by veterans of the Boston punk/metal scene and has a very ravenous brutal sound that is drenched in the underground, DIY punk/hardcore metal scene that would please fans of Madball, Cryptic Slaughter, DRI, Gang Green and even Sepultura.
In contrast to the more liberal Naked Aggression, Opposition's hardcore more libertarian anti government stance was clear, as the singer warned kids about technology. 'Don't film me or put me on YouTube, I hate the fucking Internet!" he yelled. "To all you idiots out there posting your business on Facebook and other sites, just know the government is watching us all, they are tracking your every word and move and just like 60 years ago there will be round ups and people will be thrown into Internment Camps!" The band's music conveyed messages about mistrusting the government, going against authority, staying true to the DIY ethic of punk, and "shooting people, not dope." Opening the show was Opposition Rising tour mates from Boston, Disaster Strikes, as well as the local bands, Long Beach Fuck, Doomsday Hour, and Who Gives A Fuck. Although the openers performed to a crowd of less than 25 people, a constant circle pit of half a dozen punks definitely brought out the energy level of a bigger show. For the last two bands, the place had filled up considerably however.
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The Crowd: Tons of people in bet up denim or leather jackets, Mohawks, spiked bullet belts, tattoos, and patches. A Mix of anarchy and crust punks, s several groups of pretty girls, and the normal bar scene drinkers.
Overheard: "Let's see if we can turn this place from a pizza parlor into a punk rock show, EVERYONE come up front now let's al have some fun!" shouted Opposition Rising vocalist to he crowd of around 100.
Random Notebook Dump: Though the band formed in Wisconsin in 1990, Naked Aggression relocated and has been based out of LA for years. The band was featured in the 1998 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, part III. The last part of a trilogy, which featured the lives of Anarchist gutter punks in LA/Hollywood.
Critical Bias: Opposition Rising's singer seemed a bit too confrontational as the band began, yelling and ordering people to the front to start a mosh pit. Although after a few songs, he didn't need to yell at the fans, the songs spoke for themselves.