Loud and fast still rule when done right. And when the Weirdos marched onstage Friday at the El Rey Theatre, the vintage L.A. punk outfit got right to business, ripping through "We Got the Neutron Bomb," getting its best-known song out of the way.
It was as if the band had remained a presence on the local music scene since the punk rock '70s. Young fans held up three fingers in the sign of the "W" as singer John Denney stomped and mugged across the stage.
The Weirdos were a forceful presence here even though the group wasn't together long enough to enjoy career momentum or even to record a full album until a brief 1989 reunion.
On Friday, "I'm Not Like You" rocked with agitated hooks and Denney's blustery delivery, creating a driving punk sound beneath the quirky exterior. The Weirdos maintain a seemingly limited range but also give the feeling that anything could still happen. The Ramones didn't have much range either. Didn't need it.
The Weirdos slipped into a raw Sex Pistols-like vibe with "Happy People" as cups and ice cubes occasionally flew up at Denney. The five Weirdos watched over an active mosh pit. And at one point, someone's artificial leg was seen bouncing triumphantly above the crowd. Still weird.