Leftöver Crack – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 1, 2012
New Year’s Day in New York City is a peculiar thing. After the confetti settles, the trash is removed and those with party-hard hangovers awaken to wander the streets like zombies, the city returns to its chaotic normalcy. Cue Leftöver Crack at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The NYC-based punk-rock veterans provided the perfect foil to the commercialized made-for-TV Times Square celebration that most of the world associates with New Years Eve in New York City. And there’s no better way to welcome a New Year than with a fist in the air.
There’s really no separation between Leftöver Crack, true to their egalitarian beliefs, and their audience. During the entire set, different audience members would run onstage and somersault back off into the crowd, one after another after another, like punk-rock lemmings. This kept the first few rows of the audience occupied catching—or attempting to catch—people. The rest of the crowd, and I mean the entire fucking crowd, was in a constant circle-mosh that swept up everything in its path like a tornado of human bodies. Chaotic as it sounds, Leftöver Crack provided a soundtrack that put the whole scene into its proper context.
Playing classics like “One Dead Cop,” “Born to Die,” “Gay Rude Boys Unite” and the Choking Victim cover “500 Channels,” lead singer Stza took breaks between songs to rant about everything from the BART police shooting of Oscar Grant and homophobia to police brutality and the new Muppets movie (“Disney is Tex Richman!”). His screed against private prisons was cut somewhat short, as he said, “I’m too drunk to explain this right now.” This was followed by a short impromptu rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” which made his inability to explain the complexity of the United States’ private-prison system forgivable. The concert ended with him lying on his back onstage and guitarist Brad Logan explaining, “That’s it, you fucking killed him.” The crowd emptied to reveal several deserted shoes sacrificed to the show, the true indicator of a successful punk-rock concert. —Dan Rickershauser