In retrospect the concert venue has none of Eero Saarinen's grace or charm, but the guests -- and there were a lot more of them -- were equally unruly to the point where it was hard to enjoy the concert, keep yourself from getting knocked over, and stay out of a fight all at the same time. Despite arriving early to claim our places, our little group was pushed aside as people shoved their way towards the stage. We were jostled by a shirtless, sweaty guy headed back to the mosh pit, who then threatened us for not getting out of his way fast enough. I wondered if I was just too old to be there, but I go to concerts (including punk concerts) all the time and have never dealt with such a selfish and mean-spirited crowd.
The bands were both great, though. I didn't know much of Bad Religion's music beforehand. Their name and "crossbuster" logo might make you think they are anti-theists, but in fact they state they use "religion" as a metaphor for blind faith in either institutions, people or ideas. The energy they put out there makes it easy to understand how they are still drawing crowds after over 30 years. I have been listening to them ever since.
|Rise Against by Marms RTT on Flickr.|
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Both bands make no bones about their progressive politics and strong belief in social responsibility, which just made the selfish rudeness of the fans we encountered that much more disappointing.