September 16, 2016
By Jeff Mozey
Photos by Jeff Mozey
Milo Goes To First Avenue
The highly anticipated performance by Descendents finally arrived Thursday night in Minneapolis. Not only was the show sold out, but the last time the band played First Avenue was July 13th, 1987. The band was founded in 1977 in Manhattan Beach, California and contributed to the early hardcore punk scene taking place in Los Angeles. The band has taken a few breaks over the years. However, the desire to keep making music continues to bring them back to the fans and we couldn't be more excited to have them back here in Minnesota.
From under the projector screen that covered the stage, you could see the legs of people but could not distinguish who they belonged to. Then a voice came over the venues speakers and said "What is with this screen here," suddenly the band had taken the stage and was ready to go.
Once the screen had been lifted, singer Milo Aukerman mentioned that they had not been back to Minnesota in about twenty years. The last time that the Descendents played in Minnesota was during the Vans Warped Tour in 1997. One of the first things I noticed was how much energy the members had. Everyone is sitting right over fifty years in age, but age was not a factor during this live set. You could see and feel the energy exuding from the band. The facial expressions and emotion of guitar player, Stephen Egerton and singer Milo, were not lost on the crowd. In true punk rock fashion, not much talking took place in between tunes. It was pretty rapid fire from song to song. Some of the biggest crowd pleaser songs were, "I'm The One," "Myage," "Suburban Home," "Silly Girl," and the new single, "Victim of Me." This new single comes off of the band's latest album â€˜Hypercaffium Spazzinate." Great crystal clear sound and sharp vocals only added to how solid Descendents sounded.
I had never witnessed a double encore until this night. Not once but twice the band came back on stage to continue performing. For the first Encore, the band brought out their friend Grover to perform a few songs with them. Grover dedicated his stage time to friend Brandon Carlisle who passed away last year. He was the previous drummer for the band Teenage Bottlerocket.
Before the second Encore, Drummer Bill Stevenson stepped up to the microphone and asked the crowd "who was here for our live album." Only a few raised their hands. On July 13, 1987, the band recorded their first live album, "Liveage!" at the historic venue during the "Final" tour as Milo was leaving the band to pursue his career in biochemistry. He has since balanced the band and his career and the on this night, it was evident he loves being on stage entertaining the crowd.
The set concluded with loud applause and it was great to finally see the Descendents perform in Minneapolis. I can only hope that they don't wait another 20 years to return.
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