NoMeansNo / Greyhound Tragedy / The City Streets

Starlite Room, Edmonton AB March 29

BY Fish GriwkowskyPublished Apr 19, 2007

How many times have Tom, Rob and John played to these same bricks? Punkin’ out the Bronx in the ’80s, sending off the Rev in the ’90s, and now melting our minds at the Starlite — they are the forefathers of this nation’s living scene, the summit of all grandpas. Storming on with the freak-faced "I’m An Asshole” after old and new vibes from Greyhound Tragedy and the City Streets, NoMeansNo conjured musical sorcery I’d never heard before. With a vibrating and inexplicable combination of John Wright’s drumming, Rob Wright’s taped-together bass and the three-string rhythm of Tom Holliston’s Gibson Standard we heard — somehow — a new sound: a ghost horn section. Amazing! Spanning at least seven albums, the set levitated the legends past their creaky limitations. Especially when some drunken water-head leaped on stage, sleeveless Rob seemed road-weary, but ultimately told that idea to stick it with two encores. The veteran kept grinning, hand high, saying, "Remember: boom!” Hits included "The River,” an escalating song fit for a Mt. Olympus kegger, and the delightfully sentimental "In Her Eyes” — both sung by the buzz cut-sportin’ Rob as he sprayed his own collected saliva from the microphone chamber. Notably, "2 Lips 2 Lungs 1 Tongue” snapped into a cover of "Jailbait,” too. The bricks crackled with recognition. I also never appreciated how much ladies dig Holliston moving those lips under those glasses; the floor in front of him was positively greased with other people’s girlfriends losing it. Three bands, three left-handed guitarists, one happy crowd. Take your Harmers and your Hips, your Geddys, your shitty number bands — NoMeansNo are still the best act in Canada. How many years must we foolishly wonder if this show’s their last, that punk here could finally admit no future?

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