Published Sep 01, 2010The antics of lead Angry Samoan "Metal" Mike Saunders have been highly documented over the years. And by antics, we're not talking the typical slice-yourself-up-with-a-beer-bottle punk rock self-harm, or the kind of tomfoolery second wave Cali-punk bands like NOFX are known for. Nope, with Saunders it's more of a disturbed guy wandering around the stage in circles, obsessing over drum placement, or sitting on the stage mid-song, picking at his shoe. At one point during this Victoria, BC show, Saunders even gathered the beer bottles by the front of the crowd, carefully poured out any remaining suds and placed the bottles behind a bass amp. We can only assume he was planning on taking them back to the depot.
Victoria's own Class of 1984 started things off with some meaty skate punk, throwing in some Descendents and 7 Seconds covers. Unfortunately, it didn't quite feel like 1984. With a squint and some earplugs, '94, maybe.
When L.A. punk legends the Angry Samoans blasted through "Right Side of My Brain" with shocking precision, it was clear they owned the night. After some quick tunes, Saunders proclaimed, "Four down, 32 more to go." The band, who formed in the late '70s, tapped punk classics from the likes of the Pagans, GBH and even Canada's own Subhumans (with a cover of "Slave to My Dick" dedicated to Gerry Useless) to pad out their set, which mostly consisted of their own 30-second blasts peppered with Saunders's incoherent ramblings.
All of the Samoans' "hits" were here; "You Stupid Asshole," "Steak Knife," "Gas Chamber," and "Inside My Brain" were of particular note. Even more notable was Saunders's penchant for weirdness. With "I Heart Kesha" scrawled across his arm in Jiffy, the 50-something Saunders dropped odd one-liners on the Victoria crowd, such as "We love you Toronto! Next stop Winnipeg!" and "This is the part where we pretend we've left the stage, until you think we're not here anymore, then we'll play some more songs."
Their only other original member, drummer Bill Vockeroth, was not to be outdone. Looking like a drunk uncle, he sported a rather handsome leather fanny pack around his beer gut. Oh, and their bass player was a dead ringer for a homeless cocker spaniel puppy, all helping making this Victoria's best punk rock show in ages.