10.08.10 – 10.09.10: Tankcrimes Brainsqueeze

I think at heart I’m a thrasher. I really should have been a 16 year old in the mid-eighties with a bad mustache, cutoff denim jacket, pants too tight to run in and high-top Reeboks. Last month I attended what I have decided is the greatest event to celebrate thrash EVER. The motherfucking Tankcrimes Brainsqueeze!! I found out about this glorious event in September when I read about it whilst browsing Invisible Oranges. After viewing the most amazing advert ever about 8 times, I decided I would make the trek to Oakland, California just to witness the badassness of bands I love but hadn’t been able to see live before! After a 400 or so mile drive to San Francisco to pick up my amigo Paul, it was time to drive through East Oakland for a bit to pay respects to Too $hort before getting to the venue. The crowd was really great. The ad didn’t lie. There were Crust punks, Heshers, Thrashers, Retro thrashers, even Retro retro thrashers!! In line we guzzled an oversized screwdriver just to warm up while standing out in the cold while we overheard stories about rehab and methadone clinics…

Anyway, we walked in just as Voetsek was taking the stage. They’re a thrash/speed metal band. What else is there to say? They played fast, they yelled, they talked about weed between songs. At one point, the lead singer grabbed someone’s cellphone and dialed this person’s mother. It was exactly what you’d expect. After a brief convo that started with “Hey mom, can you pick me up? I’m in jail.” Turned into “I’m at tankcrimes, mom, and you can suck my motherfucking diiiiiiick!” The phone was launched into the crowd, probably to be trampled upon as the band continued to thrash. That was fun.

What I remember after that is spotty. I know Denton, TX’s A.N.S. was next. It was good to finally see them. I enjoy their brand of skateboard-y thrashness. I’ve got video of them I haven’t uploaded, that’ll go up soon. Paul and I went outside for a smoke break, and in my case, a second-hand smoke break. Talked to some proper metal heads about the scene, BRUH. Cannabis Corpse was on next. There was a true moment of unity from the fans in attendance during the band’s set. I don’t think I had ever seen so many people light up a joint or pipe during a performance before. It was admirable, but everyone was missing the total destruction that was happening on stage! I took this video of the band doing “Reefer Stashed Place.” Click to watch! After they finished up, we caught some of Direct Control before we bounced. I regret leaving because I missed GHOUL once before, and I had no idea I’d be missing them twice in the the span of a month. More on that two entries from now!

Day 2

I traded in Paul for my friend Kat on day 2. We met up at a strip club because she’s classy like that. Anyway, day 2 was a blast. We walked in as Population Reduction started playing “Babies Are Assholes,” a classic. You can see footage from that here. (I did not capture that video). Next was the band I drove to Oakland for, Ramming Speed. They are truly one of my favorite bands today and I can’t exactly pinpoint why. Maybe it’s because they shred hard with no regard, maybe it’s cause they write semi-politically charged songs while still being able to make party jams, or maybe its because they have a song called “Heavy Metal Thunder.” I don’t really know. I was really excited to be at the very front, sacrificing my hearing during their set, though. Although they didn’t play the aforementioned song, they did play “Speed Trials,” “Lazer Assault,” and “Political Party” which are all proper ass thrash cuts. Here’s a video of “Lazer Assault” which was the band’s opener. Ignore my “YEAHHH!” at the beginning, I’m on some fanboy shit. While Deadfall was playing, I took the time to head over the the Ramming Speed merch table to chop it up with the fellows and get a shirt. They gave me free sunglasses for being “down” and all that shit.

Toxic Holocaust followed Deadfall but went before Vitamin X..? Not sure why, exactly, but I’m not hating on Vitamin X. I just figured Toxic Holocaust was a bigger name. I barged into the venue a few songs in because I was having a conversation about football with some retro retro thrashers in the smoking area. By the time Toxic Holocaust went on, the pit was massive. Almost everyone was involved in the circle pit. My pal got the beer knocked out of her hand during the set and I had to move to another part of venue to get a clear video of “Nuke the Cross” which you can watch here. You can see all the wild shit going on in that video.

Vitamin X. Dutch hardcore. Tons of cred. Wall of death. Watch it here.

Finally, it was time for Municipal Waste to come on. Now, I’ve had friends tell me that they had the most fun at a Municipal Waste show, but I was skeptical. The stories I’ve heard about what goes on made me feel like they were myth. These tales were truth. I tried to get video of the band’s opener but was pushed to the ground almost immediately. There was an inflatable raft being thrown around along with beer cans, shoes and bras that hold titties. It was a wild time. You can see a video of “Headbanger Face Rip” here. (Video not taken by me).

I wish I had gotten around to writing about this earlier because I know I’ve leaving out a lot of shit. I just know that it was the most fun I had at a show in a while and I hope it becomes an annual event, because I would definitely go every year.



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