OFF! and Negative Approach at Grand Central Miami, September 26

Photo by Maureen Roxanny

Better Than: Dead Kennedys without Jello, The Misfits without Danzig, and the last 25 years of Bad Brains.

Last night, Downtown Miami dance hall Grand Central hosted yet another righteous punk show. In fact, this might've been the best rock concert that we've ever seen at the club.

See also:
-OFF!'s Keith Morris Talks Danceable Hardcore: "The Girls Can Shake Their Asses. To Us, That Is Most Important"
-Concert Review: Corrosion of Conformity With Holly Hunt, Consular, and Shroud Eater at Grand Central

Photo by Maureen Roxanny
Oh, shit! Double Negative!

When we first saw the flyer, our reaction was, "Oh, shit! Negative Approach!" followed by "Oh, shit! Double Negative!"

How did these new-school dudes land a coveted spot opening for legends of the game? Maybe NA vocalist John Brannon was, like, trolling his newsfeed, bored as shit in the green room at All Tomorrow's Parties or something. When, suddenly, somebody posts some jams from the Hardcore Confusion series to his Wall with the caption, "u guys shud tour with this band lol."

Photo by Maureen Roxanny
Oh, shit! More Double Negative!

So he checks out the tunes and he's like, "omg we shud tour with this band." Because, you see, their names are similar. Also, we imagine Brannon recognized more than a little of his own band's sound in that of DN, and appreciated the young outfit's contemporary take on dark, noisy American hardcore.

Unfortunately, a big part of Double Negative's signature charm (the warm-hued, sneakily melodic, almost-shoegaze-y guitar buzzblur) was almost entirely diluted by the more than half-empty Grand Central. Put these guys on a smaller stage in a room with a lower ceiling, and a crowd that's had more time to warm up, and we predict nothing short of absolute fucking chaos.

Photo by Maureen Roxanny
Oh, shit! Negative Approach!

Negative Approach, on the other hand, is a band whose music indulges significantly less ambiguity and nuance. They looked like Hells Angels at a ZZ Top concert crossed with Kafka's Dad after a long day at the office spent smoking a carton of cigarettes rolled with newspaper and filled with sewage. And they sounded like it too.

Neil Young might spend 20 minutes on one guitar solo, but that's like 40 whole songs for Negative Approach. As far as we could tell, they may have played their entire classic discography, including the biggest pit-starter of the night, "Ready to Fight," and about two dozen other neanderthal pig man jams that recalled "Ready To Fight."

Photo by Maureen Roxanny
Oh, shit! More Negative Approach!

While their music can sometimes epitomize the mosh-obsessed chug-a-lug of late '80s hardcore (which they preceded, BTW, by almost a decade), Negative Approach has experienced a recent revival, partly tied to a broader, scene-wide darkening of contemporary HC's aesthetic.

The early 2000s were ruled with an iron fist by bathing-in-beer-foam Animal House-style wacky thrashers like Richmond, Virginia's Municipal Waste. But the contemporary punk rocker has little use for dayglo flipped-bill caps and boogie boards in the pit.

Instead, the past few years have seen a reactionary embrace of anger and compositional experimentation, recalling headshop hardcore like Void, Drunks With Guns, and No Trend. NA and Brannon are a little more sonically conservative. But they compensate for lack of innovation (relative to the aforementioend groups) with intensity.

Location Info


Grand Central

697 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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