A Fat Wreck on a Saturday Night

October 25th, 2010

Fat Wreck Chords Showcase – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 23, 2010

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (Photo: Kirsten Housel)

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (Photo: Kirsten Housel)

On Saturday night, Music Hall of Williamsburg hosted the Fat Wreck Chords CMJ showcase. The headliner, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, has been a favorite of college kids and punk-rockers alike since it started cranking out punk covers of R&B, pop, country and show tunes in the mid-’90s, drawing a beer-fueled, pogoing crowd to see its always-animated live show. However, in keeping with the CMJ Music Marathon spirit of featuring newer talent, some of the bands that opened for Me First, which is also fronted by Fat Wreck Chords owner “Fat” Mike Burkett, deserve the most commendation.

High-energy rockabilly-gypsy punks Cobra Skulls—whose frontman Devin Peralta was one of the night’s most unique singers with his spitfire vocals and meshing of English and Spanish language lyrics—were first onstage. “Muniphobia” was especially great live, conjuring images of the CMJ attendee-filled subways. Next up: the Flatliners, whose track “Eulogy” was the only song of the night to get the lighter-in-the-air treatment (along with a large crowd sing-along).

Dead to Me did a furious punk set that found frontman Chicken passionately speaking about “shit that’s inside my heart,” like Arizona SB 1070. And Teenage Bottlerocket played the poppiest set of the openers, sounding like a new-era Ramones or Screeching Weasel. Its members’ desire to simply “party” and “eat pizza” added some lightheartedness to a politically fueled lineup of bands. For the 20-year-old Fat Wreck Chords, which has long been one of the most revered and respected independent punk labels, this was a great night of celebration. —Kirsten Housel