Moscow November 24, 2001
Man, that was a blast! It's been a while since I had such a good time at concerts. I attended the Exploited gig in Moscow about 4.5 years ago, and that one failed to kill me on the spot. The current show was, however, much better and it showed in everything. The Gorbushka administration were wise enough to remove chairs from the hall, and it was even wiser of them to bring in the security guys instead of the police. The sound was much better this year, too, with the band playing much tighter and adding more metal to their music. Back in 1997 songs like "Beat The Bastards" sounded somewhat poor due to totally punkish guitars. Now the band has a new guitarist and the guitars are much heavier, though still dirty enough in the mix. As to the set list, it was practically identical, which is no wonder given that the Exploited had no new albums out in between the two shows.
The concert kicked off with "Let's Start A War (Said Maggie One Day)" and "Fight It Back" (off my favourite album "Beat The Bastards") and rocked right on through all the Exploited classics I can think of ("I Believe In Anarchy", "Troops Of Tomorrow", "Massacre", "System Fucked Up", "Sex And Violence", "Fuck The U.S.A.", etc.). Singer Wattie Buchan was on the edge of the stage all the time, trying at the same time not to lose close contact with the audience and not to be smashed down by crazy headbangers who were climbing up all through the show. I saw him a couple of times kicking especially aggressive stage-divers with a foot or fist. Really, this man must be playing with fire and enjoying himself to the extreme. The audience was having a great time too, with punks, metalheads and skinheads going mad to the sound of the Exploited together.
At the 1997 show I was surprised by politeness of punks, this time it was skinheads who surprised me the most by showing no aggression to people of other clans. One of them told me (after almost running me down in an attempt to get me jumping more intensely) not to be afraid of anything, the other said he was pity that we the youngsters were not headbanging enough, and the third, who introduced himself as Cannibal, kissed Lynx' hand after the introductions.
The highest point in the show was obviously "Beat The Bastards", when about 10 fans turned up at the stage simultaneously and the audience was singing (or rather shouting) "beat the bastards" louder than hell. After that the bass player took command of the microphone to perform the ageless Sex Pistols classic "Belsen Was A Gas". Next was another immortal tune "Punks Not Dead" (dated 1981) and the band said goodbye just to return for two more encores. Apparently looking from aside the show was a total nightmare - chaotic music, scary looking people jumping and pushing each other in front of the stage, etc. but you just need to step in to be taken away by the sheer energy of the performance that is damn hard to be rivalled. Oh, and don't forget to take some beers before the show, being stone cold sober at a punk concert is the same as being in a sheepskin coat at a nudist beach.
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