Fu Manchu at Gas Monkey Made Me Realize We Are All So Goddamn Old Now

Categories: Last Night

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Fu Manchu
Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Since I've been over here, I've been slowly but assuredly collecting bands I liked in the late '90s, like someone younger might collect baseball cards, or Pokémon, or whatever it is the youth of today enjoy. Bands I would not have had the chance to see back in the U.K., or that I might not have been able to afford to see, due to not being an adult. I think, I'm pretty sure at least, that Fu Manchu completes the set. This depresses me for several reasons that I will now expand on. Thank you for your support in this trying time.

Firstly, am I now going to have to listen to modern music? It has all these bleeps and bloops, and sometimes someone makes a whiny noise, and they all have names that aren't even words. I'm not into it, basically. Unless you had long hair and a guitar in the '90s, I'm just not ready to commit to you.

Secondly, 20 years ago? Really? The next time I blink, we'll all be 20 years in the future, modern music will be even more untenably awful, and I will look out of place at shows.

Finally, and by way of segueing to this review I am purportedly meant to be writing, everyone around me at the shows I want to see is old now. I began, some months ago, writing an irregular column bemoaning the general manners of the Dallas concertgoer, whose modus operandi involves a lot of shouting, pushing, terrible photography, and fighting. It turns out that, actually, I'm just really old now.

Last night I experienced what an old audience was like. Everyone was just kinda hanging out, watching the band. There was no scrum down the front. People were letting each other in. A man apologized for accidentally stepping on my toe while moshing in a non-committal fashion.

The most embarrassing stage dive of all time occurred, in which some dude made a big run-up to dive off the stage, realized that no one at the front of the stage was at all committed to catching him, and kind of half-heartedly flopped into the arms of someone. There was a VIP section where the employable metal heads could stand, and it had table service. Table. Service.

All of this is a far cry from Club Dada or Three Links on a Friday night. The furthest cry. I now realize that, far from criticizing the youth of Dallas and their often misplaced exuberance, I should actually have been mixing with my own kind, at theme restaurants with awesome stages built on the back.

Sorry everyone. I take it all back. Shout and photograph all you want. I would say a part of me has died, if that fact hadn't already been made hugely clear by the increasingly firm hand of Father Time.

Anyway, as for the band, Fu Manchu were exactly as awesome as you might expect them to be. There isn't a single way you can go wrong with songs as good as "Evil Eye" and "Pigeon Toe," and it has to be said the sound quality at Gas Monkey is actually pretty excellent. Scott Hill hasn't bought any new clothes since 1994, nor has he addressed the hair situation, and that's just fine with me.

The main thing that makes Fu Manchu so very excellent is the fine balance they strike between the two California scenes they were born from and later came to influence, stoner rock and skate punk. It's extraordinarily entertaining, and there are no slow spots during the set. This is a band happy to still be touring, who are unashamed about playing the old stuff, give fair warning about the new stuff, and still go crazy for the loud parts.

Very few have walked the tightrope of two genres that shouldn't really go together but somehow do, and even fewer have done it with such ease and made it sound so natural. They're a good time, and there's nothing forced about their sound. They sound like they've been playing this stoner-skate genre for a lifetime, and it turns out they have. Their formula shows no signs of running dry, with a scattering of new songs that sounded as appreciably good as stuff that's 20 years old.

20 years old. Now that I've finished my collection, I should probably take up knitting.


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10 comments
kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Is Gas Money and Toby Keith's the same place?  Let's play dress up.  


Thanks, I'll just go to Hank's in McKinney. 

beautifullywritten
beautifullywritten

The awkward stage-diver is my brother, who is the drummer for Crypt Trip who will be playing tomorrow night at Three Links ;)

MikeO
MikeO

Yeah, it really annoys me that these guys are getting some good road shows. I just can't bring myself to go to this place.

Isn't Richard Rawlings the epitome of what is wrong with Dallas?

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

you can choose your concert experience Gas Monkey = huge fat rednecks in cut off shirts with shit kicker boots smoking nasty as fuck cigars or 3 Links = Blarg hitting some dumb cunt in the head with a microphone

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

I looked at gas monkey bar and grill skeptically at first but saw a couple of shows there with pretty good crowds, friendly staff and free parking, ie. Hank 3,,,,however that fucking crowd at the nekromantix/ rev horton heat show make me never want to go back to that police having corporate bro fuck fest ever again,,,plus they raised the drink prices.  A large segment of the audience seems to only go see shows at gas monkey..people I never saw at trees or three links etc, are crawling all over the fucking place with backwards ranger caps talking shit about great bands and only bobbing their dum ass fucking heads when a double bass drum  is being played.

MikeO
MikeO

I'm years ahead of you!

I remember going to the Buzzcocks first tour of the US (in the 90's, ironically enough, after they reformed) at Deep Ellum live. It was a sparse crowd, which is completely ridiculous for one of the greatest punk guitar bands in the history of the world.

Some lady tried a stage dive and face planted right in the floor (no one would catch a women even!). It kind of stunned the audience for a second, but she was able to walk it off.

I saw them again at the Loft (what ever that place is called on the Southside now) about 6 years ago and Pete Shelley looked like he was 70 years old!

JustSaying
JustSaying

I think the crowd was subdued because 90% of them were high as fuck. Fu Manchu and weed are like peanut butter and jelly and weed.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

Yep, now that I hit 40 I seem to be caring about things like the sound system and standing back far enough from the stage to hear the speakers from both sides of the stage. 


But no need to take up knitting.  You just need to mix in a rowdy Saturday night at 3 links or Double Wide here and there to balance it all out. 




gavin.cleaver
gavin.cleaver moderator

@JustSaying Yeah, I mean, they probably had brownies or whatever, but I only smelled weed once, and security shut that down in a heartbeat. It was more that there was like a 60-year old dude in a denim pant era vest headbanging.

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