Descendents' Ten Commandments Of Angst

Look, I don't want to start this review off all

negatively and stuff, because the Descendents

show at the Edge in Palo Alto Sunday night was

pretty decent. But geez, if there's anything more

boring than a boring punk song... (Yah, I'm

talking 'bout you, Mr. opening band, Guttermouth.), I would argue bad Led Zeppelin is

probably worse. Or, if you want to get more obscure, I offer bad Blue Cheer. (Put that in your

pipe and smoke it, metal heads!)

Thankfully, Descendents, with their almost-threatening pop-punk sound, appear to have only a

handful of truly boring songs, making their nearly hour-and-a-half set something to snap your

fingers and tap your Dr. Martins' to, if you're into that kind of thing. The sweating, the

mugging, the boundless energy, the sweet, sweet power chords were all present and accounted

for shortly after the bespectacled Milo Aukerman and company took the stage to play their first

tune of the night, "I'm Not a Loser," which really, really pleased the front two-thirds of the

sweaty suburban skater punks and Stanford students. You could tell they enjoyed it because they

pranced around a lot. If I weren't so intent on trying not to look like a goof, I would've pranced

too, because dammit, the song was just that good. In "I'm Not A Loser," Aukerman refers to

well-to-do people who don't like him as "arrogant assholes" and "fucking homos." So much for

my theory that punk rock would bring the masses together. Shortly after that ode to self-esteem,

the band tore into "Silly Girl," which along with "Clean Sheets" and "I'm The One" blew away

the 700 or so in the capacity crowd. No wonder, because really, the songs are just

faster-than-average pop songs. But they are catchy as hell, and the band played them with the

same raw energy they used for the more breakneck tempo songs, such as the terrific "My Dad

Sucks," and "I Like Food." In contrast to the opening bands...

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