In 1977, the Sex Pistols sang of having "no future." Eleven years later, shock battalions were celebrating a punk nostalgia event Friday night at the Variety Art Center. So much for prophecy!
Ohio's Dead Boys, the headliners and the toast of New York's CBGB's in 1976, seemed destined to recall the days of anarchy past as their set started by self-destructing--as hyped-up audience members jumped on stage and knocked over equipment. Things got considerably tamer and lamer from there, especially with singer Stiv Bators, once an obnoxiously feral-like brat and now a poodle-haired, feeble glam-rock poseur. Primarily concentrating on tunes from their 1977 album, "Young, Loud & Snotty," these Boys were really middle-aged, bass-less and spotty.
The opposite held true for the Weirdos, the first major L.A. punk band and still one of the best. With singer John Denny remaining a wildly original, kinetic presence, the group's satirical attack against post-industrial mores may be a blast from the past, but the band was so electrically charged it never suffered from loss of current--or currency.