Propagandhi - Punkrock attitude anno 2009
I couldn’t have thought of a better way to celebrate my birthday than checking out Canada's proud Propagandhi at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, who haven’t played in Holland for 8 years! With the release of Supporting Caste just a while ago, it was definitely time for the band to cross the sea again for a small European tour.
Opener of the night was Smash the Statues from the Netherlands itself. Since their start in 2003 the band has played tons of shows and released their second full-length album When Fear Is All Around Us just before the end of last year. It was the first time I saw this band and I had never checked them out before the show so I was hoping this band would blow me away. But this show, unfortunately, wasn’t one of their best. I think. The sound wasn’t too good and the overall performance was a bit sloppy. But hey, it’s punk rock! I would like to give this band another chance in a smaller room. They did a cover song from I-Spy though, a band the Propagandhi bassist played in as well. Later that evening they got a shout from Propagandhi for the cover song, so I would consider that as a good move!
After that it was time for Propagandhi to enter the stage, something I’ve been looking forward to for months. Kicking in with the title track ‘Supporting Caste’ the lead singer immediately caught a full glass of beer all over him which made the start of the set pretty pissed off. After that someone tried to do a stage dive (which isn’t uncommon at punk rock shows as far as I know?) and got caught by a roadie telling him not to perform any stage dives and got kicked out of the venue. A weird start of the show! Shame their attitude stayed this way throughout the whole set. Even though the performance was tight and the tracks from Supporting Caste sounded even better than I could have imagined, the whole night left me with mixed feelings. The band consists of a bunch of real tight musicians but the whole attitude has nothing to do with punk rock anymore. Instead of good, intelligent speeches we got some nonsense mumbling from the singer. Besides that it annoyed the fuck out of me that Propagandhi actually consists of two bands. The old, happy NOFX-like punk rock Propagandhi and the more intelligent modern Propagandhi that plays more fast, melodic, hardcore punk rock. They constantly switched between these two completely different genres and in my opinion; it did the vibe no good. Besides, it looked like I wasn’t the only one who thought of it that way, as there wasn’t much crowd reaction throughout the night, except for a small pit at the front of the stage. Shame for a band that hasn’t been here in such a long time to come up with a routine show like this. Musically, A+ but the attitude killed this evening for me.