Parking around the Palace in Hollywood Monday evening cost $7. The tickets for the concert at the theater were just $5.
Yup, Fugazi's back in town. And the veteran D.C. quartet continues to make rivals' rhetoric about a pure punk ethic seem like lip service.
Not only has the band kept its ticket and CD prices ridiculously low, but there also wasn't anything at the first of three Palace concerts as bourgeois as T-shirts or posters on sale in the lobby. Fugazi doesn't want its fans to pay money. It wants them to pay attention.
Monday, the fans did. Past shows had the audience moshing mindlessly, at odds with the band's high-minded social themes and challenging music (often to the expressed frustration of the musicians). Here a relatively mature gathering of people in their 20s and 30s largely faced the stage and responded to the actual performance, though some crowd-surfing drew an irate admonition from singer-guitarist Ian MacKaye.
But the band still pushes further. It almost defies attachment with the sharp angles and staccato punch of the music and the oblique social critiques of the lyrics, with selections from last year's impressive "End Hits" album touching on models from Pere Ubu to Iggy Pop. It's all rather cold. With Fugazi, though, the way the performers do business is as much their art as what they do on stage.
* Fugazi plays tonight at 8:30 at the Palace, 1735 N. Vine St. Sold out. (323) 462-3000.