For starters I’d like to give props to Red 7 for taking on this show due to the unforeseen lockout of
Infest. Though some of those shows had to be cancelled, I have to say this show needed to happen. This was D.O.A’s self-proclaimed last tour, and after 35 plus years we needed one more tour from one of Canada’s best punk rock bands.
Unlike most tours where at least two bands are booked together, the D.O.A show was stacked with local openers from past and present. Anti-All opened the show with an impressive display of showmanship even as only a few had made their way to the venue. Though rough around the edges, I’d give these young guys some attention – those in attendance did, including Lower Class Brats frontman Bones DeLarge.
Dickens, a five piece pop-punk outfit of extravagance, followed. While they had some decent tunes, I
couldn’t understand having three guitars and the Tommy Lee drum set up if they’re not going to be used to elevate the song structure and writing. Scale it down boys.
The Hormones, Austin’s very own ’90s garage punks, brought my spirits back up after Dickens. It is great to have them reunited as twenty years prior they had opened for D.O.A on a Texas tour. It just seemed fitting to this end. Now, I admit not being from Austin removes me from some of the rich pedigree of bands of decades prior; I’m happy to now know of The Hormones. The set started a bit shaky but once they locked in it was fabulous. Closing out their set was a crowd pleasing cover of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” followed by their almost-a-hit “Sell Out Young”.
Last up for the locals, Sniper 66 came out with their brand of street punk. Great melody’s and chants
make this northeast guy feel right at home. If you want to see a great local punk band check these guys out, you’ll get your monies worth.
Finally after the stack of openers, Joey “Shithead” Keithley, the last original member in D.O.A., came on stage with the assistance of crutches but quickly tossed them in favor of resting on the boot covering his broken foot. He made some references to such and for the rest of the set it was forgotten.
For a band with fifteen plus albums over their career the set could have been anything. However, D.O.A said goodbye the same way they said hello; opening the set with “New Age,” the first track from their debut album Something Better Change. There was no better way to match that intensity than with “Waiting for You” off of Hardcore ’81 followed by “World War 3”. Joey’s guitar playing is fierce, and at moments even comical like when he really rocks with playing sweeps and solos behind his head. Throughout the set they stuck mostly to those first three albums, the third being War on 45. Highlights including “D.O.A”, “Class” War” and closers “The Enemy” and “The Prisoner”.
As the set concluded there was no disappointment. This wasn’t like the other farewells and reunions we’ve all be inundated with. They weren’t off key, tired, and forgetful. This was D.O.A and they were, they are, great.
* D.O.A. performed at Red 7 on Jan. 31.