Trash Talk With Ratking and Lee Bannon Club Dada, Dallas Tuesday, February 17, 2015
There are varying levels of crazy in this world. It can range anywhere from the harmless, muttering-nonsense-to-yourself kind to the murderous, going-to-kill-the-next-person-you-see variety and anywhere in between. Bouncing gleefully between those poles is Sacramento hardcore band Trash Talk who, thanks in large vocalist Lee Spielman, are usually comfortably crazier than your average punk or hardcore show. But on a cold and damp Tuesday night at Club Dada, the action never quite managed to go off the rails, however bruising it may still have been.
The last time Trash Talk visited Dallas, Spielman went completely over the top -- quite literally, in fact. That night, he ventured outside of Club Dada, climbed on his bands tour van, and did a backflip off the roof into the crowd of concertgoers who had followed him outside. Not many performers put themselves so far into harm's way in order to entertain, and on that occasion Spielman set the bar pretty high.
So maybe a more toned-down visit was going to be inevitable this time around. Spielman, though, also admitted to being banged up: towards the end of the show, he mentioned having "fucked up his knee" the other night, which might explain his relative lack of acrobatics.
But he still did his part to be the ringleader of the throng of flailing bodies that filled the floor throughout the band's scorching 30-minute set on Tuesday night. Spielman's between-song banter often boiled down to a game of, "How Many Ways Can I Tell You to Kick Each Other's Asses?" which was great fun to witness. And with song titles like "Lepers to the Feed the Lepers," "Walking Disease" and "Destroy," it didn't take too much instruction.
The most pit kept going almost constantly throughout the show, but at points it picked up to a furious pace. Fans would fly at absurd angles off the stage, crashing into other people and/or out of view, while a half-full beer can would periodically go sailing overhead and spray everything in its path.
Spielman would bark out orders to start a circle pit, which would furiously for a few minutes before he waded his way down into the crowd. "Pretend I don't even fucking exist," he commanded at one point, encouraging the moshers to crash into him. At another point, he pulled someone up on stage and a crowd of other rushed up as well, and for a moment utter pandemonium seemed to ready to break out. But not quite.
Which wasn't necessarily a surprise given the crowd. It was a decidedly young turnout, the vary majority of attendees having to leave before the 21-and-over DJ after-party started. These weren't exactly people out to unleash their frustrations so much as simply have a good time. Plus the mixed lineup of bands, including Harlem rappers Ratking and fellow Sacramentan Lee Bannon, brought in plenty of concertgoers who preferred watching from the perimeter to actually getting their heads busted open.
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There were plenty of beaten and bruised bodies afterwards, and at least one smiling young girl who emerged with a bleeding head. But in the end what we got was a reminder of the underlying decency of the mosh pit: There were arms, legs and bodies flying, sure, but it was fueled by a sustained adrenaline rush and not malice.
Spielman even helpfully poured his beer down one fan's throat from up on stage, and afterwards he was out front, smoking a cigarette and talking casually with fans. Crazy, yes, but in a relatable, high-functioning way.
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