All Ages

The BUZZCOCKS, May 8, 2010, Fillmore Irving Plaza

Dense, spirited crowding of bodies—just enough to make one heartsick for bygone days of all-ages shows in smoky clubs, of foolish jubilant jumping, of secretly being in awe of while gingerly dodging the scariest slam-dancers’ windmilling arms. Nostalgia simply to stand at the frontmost pit’s innermost edge, a few yards from the stage, elbow or palm at the ready to gently bounce any body crashing in one’s direction back into the frenzied middle. To witness again the mutually protective ethic, the essential professionalism—most knowing how to handle themselves, briskly helping up the fallen, not spilling beer.

Crowd-surfing slightly sad: over the course of the show only half a dozen bodies made it aloft, and even then buoyancy was brief and the return to ground precarious, upper body often dropping first. But this isn’t exactly mosh music, and the floor nonetheless throbbed with jumpers. One guy grabbed strangers’ shoulders left and right, sometimes as impromptu half-hug, sometimes to get more height when it came time to jump. Sweetly, none of his conscripted supports seemed to object. The mightiest jumper was practically gymnastic, if weirdly arrhythmic, buff in a teddy-bear way, who knew all the lyrics despite his (apparent) relative youth. The most memorable figure in the pit, however, was a tall, silver-maned, silver-bearded magus-like elder jacketed in black leather who swayed and tossed himself about heftily, as if with both abandon and gravitas, like some venerable punk immortal.

The Buzzcocks were their adorable selves: Steve Diggle all impish mischief and delight, Pete Shelley stout, ruddy, hearty, ironic—a pair of characters one could imagine as sagely buzzards in some animated series.

Sole pity was the opening band, the Dollyrots—dull bubblegummy girl band from LA Audrina Patridge would probably nod along with, glassy-eyed.

Bomb scare outside venue.

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