March 27, 1987 – my very first and my very worst (but also my very best) concert experience

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Andrew Jacobs here,

As I stated in my last post, I listened to a steady diet of hardcore music in the ’80s and two of my favorite bands at that time (and now as well) were Uniform Choice and Dag Nasty.  So when I heard in early 1987 that both of those bands were going to be playing a show relatively close to my hometown of Fountain Valley, California (which was Uniform Choice’s hometown as well), my then 16 year old self decided that it would be my baptism by fire as far as live music.

Fender’s Ballroom, the venue where the show took place, was quite notorious by 1987 for some of the most violent hardcore and punk shows in all of Los Angeles (and considering LA’s reputation for violence, that’s quite a feat).  Besides the violence which unfortunately accompanies hardcore and punk shows more often than not, Fender’s also had a big problem with gang violence as well.  Members of various LA gangs as well as white power skinhead gangs were regulars at Fender’s throughout the ’80s and the night of this show was certainly no exception.  Prior to Uniform Choice taking the stage, there was more than one big fight.  But enough of that.

Because most of the Decibel Geek faithful aren’t familiar with Uniform Choice or Dag Nasty, I won’t bore you with too many details about either of the bands’ music (click on the links above if you’re interested in listening to ’em).

Why is this concert my very worst experience?  While circle pitting during Uniform Choice’s last song, I felt a sharp pain in one of my feet and immediately got out of the pit.  Turns out that I’d fractured a bone in my foot.  Needless to say, my parents were NOT happy.  I wouldn’t attend another hardcore show for the next 3 years (however, I would spend the next few years after that going to countless hardcore shows).

Why is this concert also my very best experience?  From the time that Uniform Choice hit the stage until the time that I broke my foot, it was pure and unadulterated awesomeness for me.  It was as if the crappy day at school prior to the show didn’t even happen.  While I’ve certainly had a handful of concert experiences that have come close to it, none have done it for me quite like that.

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