Nomeansno with C'mon and the Populars at the Horseshoe, March 13. Attendance: 400. Tickets:$12. Rating: NNNNN
As the throngs milled into the normally smokeless confines of the Horseshoe , a smoke machine's acrid mist began pouring into the lungs, noses and eyes of those in attendance, announcing that Cmon , Ian Blurton 's newly minted power trio consisting of Blurtonia drummer Randy Curnew and Nashville Pussy bassist Katie Lynn were hitting the stage. At the band's first note, the crowds' ears perked up like those of a hungry dog at the sound of a can opener. The sound they produce is also pretty frigging thick for a three-piece, combining Blurton's trebly vox, melodic songwriting and a frenetic thud for maximum chug. They mixed it with nice chops and sweet stage moves from the frontpeople and kept the crowd excitedly stoked for the duration of their set, an excellent precursor for the trio that was to come, namely the brothers Wright and NoMeansNo .
And so they came, grey-haired and primed to rock. Rob greeted the crowd by telling them, "We're extremely old - you'll have to get used to that," a statement that proved irrelevant. They began their first song and were as precise and rocking as a coked-up robot, prompting a frenzied, pinball-machine-like mosh pit in the centre of the crowd by the second song that didn't let up throughout the band's hour-and-a-half-long set.
The packed house loved every song the dudes played on this, their second of a two-night stand, from The Night Everything Became Nothing to the fast blaster Theresa, Give Me That Knife.
Work from their later album came off just as well as anything else they've done, and although the moshers started to bleed and seemed to get very tired midway through, they never stopped their horrific dance, even after the bros came out for a second and third encore. It made sense that they kept dancing because every tune sounded awesome and was performed impeccably.
NoMeansNo play one of the most singular and progressive forms of punk rock around, and continue to 20-odd years after their formation. They've enjoyed success around the globe and, most important, can still put on a rock show that rivals any they've played before.
These dudes should be in the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If Rik Emmett is there, they should be.