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OFF! | May 12, 2012


OFF! stormed the San Francisco Bay Area this past weekend; first Friday night with a show at Slim’s and then Saturday with an in-store performance at Amoeba Records in Berkeley. Nothing wrong with catching the same band in less than 24 hours, right?

The Slim’s show was absolutely packed and by the time OFF! took they stage, there was little hope of getting anywhere near the front … beyond the crush of the crowd were moshers and stage divers aplenty. Well, sometimes it’s better to just hang back with a beer and enjoy the show but that 40 minutes of ferocity that left no doubt where the place to be would be come 4 pm on Saturday.

Fast forward 15 or so hours and the fans were starting to dribble in to Amoeba Records to find a tiny stage crammed into the corner and surrounded by aisles of used jazz CD’s. By the time the 4 pm set time rolled around, those aisles were jam-packed with a few hundred people, many clutching brand-spanking new OFF! vinyl ready. Keith borrowed one of those records from an audience member and pointed, “this is why we’re here.”

Some guy at Amoeba: “Play Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!!!”
Keith: “You must have us confused with some other band”

While the comparisons to Black Flag are unavoidable, there should be no doubt that OFF! is its own monster. With an average song length of about a minute, this band couldn’t be more concise in their vitriol-laced lyrics and rapid-fire guitars. They have a lot to be pissed off about and they clearly don’t see the need to waste time using metaphors to tell you all about it.

As they did the night before, hit the crowd with four rapid-fire songs at a time. Early in the set Keith looked up at the clock on the wall and quipped, “10 minutes … that’s the longest it’s ever taken us to play four songs.” The setlist sampled nicely between their two releases (OFF!, First Four EPs) but as is the case with this band, it went all too quickly.

While there may not have been enough room for a pit, it will likely be a long time for the jazz aisles of Ameoba rock this hard again.


  • Panic Attack
  • I Don’t Belong
  • Borrow and Bomb
  • Poison City
  • Feelings Are Meant To Be Hurt
  • Wrong
  • King Kong Brigade
  • Vaporized
  • I Got News For You
  • Crawl
  • Rat Trap
  • Wiped Out
  • Cracked
  • Black Thoughts
  • Darkness

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© 2012 Alan Snodgrass | Please do not use without express permission (contact). If you like what you see, leave a comment below and subscribe so you can be notified of new posts. You can also become a fan on Facebook.

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