Most people who regularly attended shows during the punk era have shaky memories of them due to the volume of drugs and alcohol consumed. One notable exception is record collector and scenester Imants Krumins, who served as designated driver, shuttling fellow punks between Hamilton and Toronto. Here are the 'Shoe gigs that blew his mind.
PERE UBU with NASH THE SLASH and SIMPLY SAUCER OCT 27-28, 1978
What stands out most for me is that they didn't perform Final Solution. Steve Leckie from the Viletones told David Thomas, "Do that song Final Solution and you'll kill them!" Thomas responded, "I don't want to kill anyone." So they didn't play it.
SUICIDE with DESTROY ALL MONSTERS and TEENAGE HEAD JUNE 1-3, 1978
A lot of people hated Suicide and threw chairs at them, but I thought they were incredible. Alan Vega ran around the audience and got people to scream into the microphone. That seemed to win people over.
TROGGS with the VILETONES and SCENICS JUNE 19-20, 1978
Steve Leckie was dissing the Troggs for being 60s relics all during the Viletones set. But by the end of the Troggs set, Leckie was won over, and so was the Horseshoe crowd.
CONTORTIONS with TEENAGE JESUS & THE JERKS and the GOVERNMENT AUG 3-4, 1978
I'd heard the stories from people at the first night about James Chance provoking and assualting people during the Contortions set. Evidently he continued outside the Horseshoe afterawards, was arrested and had to spend the night in jail. After the Government's 40-minute set, Teenage Jesus played about 10 minutes of noise and walked off. When people banged their beer glasses on the tables requesting Lydia Lunch return for an encore, it sounded remarkably like the band! The Contortions played for 20 minutes, and were totally obnoxious as expected, but James Chance managed to stay out of jail that night.
DEMICS with the SILLIES and the JUMPERS OCT 14, 1978
First Toronto appearance by Demics, and they went over like Sham 69, probably because of singer Keith Whittaker's English accent. I'd already seen Jumpers and knew they'd be good. Unfortunately, the Sillies were crap and had an Andy Warholesque manager walking around the front of the stage.