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Friday, February 29, 2008

March 9th at Studio7!!! Firestorm!!!

posted by on February 29 at 15:16 PM

There are tales in rock lore so brilliantly absurd that I’m willing to accept them as fact despite their improbability—life is simply more rich and interesting when they are regarded as true.

Case in point: an acquaintance of mine had a great story about going to see Ted Nugent back in the ‘80s. The night started with a curtain drawn across the stage. Suddenly, the house lights dimmed and the sound of the Nuge’s blistering guitar leads blared out of the PA. The crowd erupted into applause. The curtains pulled back and the Nuge ran out from behind the enormous drum riser, still demonstrating his extensive fret board awareness while the rest of the band prepared to kick in on the downbeat of the first song (I hope it was “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang”). At the crucial moment, he leapt from the drum riser and attempted a flip that, ideally, would plant him center stage right on the first chord. Instead, the Nuge miscalculated his trajectory and landed with an amplified crunch in a crumpled heap, both legs broken. The curtains quickly drew back and the one-chord-deep concert was over.

Did this really happen? Probably not. I’ve scoured the Internet looking for confirmation, hoping that it’s true, all to no avail. But regardless, in my mind it is a historical fact. The world is a better place that way.

The recently reunited straight edge hardcore band Earth Crisis share more with ol’ Teddy than just an outspoken stance against drugs and alcohol; they also have one of those classic rumored live incidents that may or not be true. Earth Crisis is best known for the title track off their 1993 EP, “Firestorm.” It’s no small wonder that they have also chosen that song as the name of their current reunion tour (appearing at Studio7 on March 9th). The song rocks. Even fifteen years and countless beers later, I can’t help but love “Firestorm.” Lyrically, it’s the ultimate straight edge anthem, a rally cry to purge drug dealers from inner-city ghettos. Musically, it’s genius. At least 95% of the song is just palm-muted E power chords. If it winds up on Guitar Hero, it will be the easiest song to beat EVER.

This combination of militancy and mosh-tastic songwriting managed to carry Earth Crisis to the top of the mid-to-late ‘90s straight edge scene despite the fact that all their subsequent recordings were, in my opinion, god-awful. And while Earth Crisis shows were laden with documented reports of violence and controversy, my favorite story regarding one of the band’s performances has never been confirmed.

The rumor has Earth Crisis playing some club in Salt Lake City several years after the Firestorm EP came out. Bear in mind that this was the ‘90s, when the SLC straight edge scene was notoriously violent and considered the primary gang presence in Utah. The band, no doubt road-weary and thoroughly sick of playing their “hits”, played through a set of new material. Several songs into the set, the audience began calling out for “Firestorm.” The band ignored their wishes. Between every song, the call came: “Play ‘Firestorm’!”

The band finally had enough. “We’re not playing ‘Firestorm’ tonight,” stated vocalist Karl Buechner. There was a pause, then someone in the crowd yelled out: “Play ‘Firestorm’ or we’ll beat the shit out of you.” The band, familiar with Salt Lake’s violent reputation, conceded. The crowd went crazy. At the completion of the song, a voice yelled out “play it again.” The band refused. “Play it again or we’ll beat the shit out of you.” And thus Earth Crisis found their set list rendered null and void as the audience bullied them into playing Firestorm over and over again. Like the Nuge’s broken legs, there doesn’t appear to be any resources available to lend credibility to the rumors, but I just pretend they’re true anyway.

The clip below shows Earth Crisis, in all their glory, performing “Firestorm” at their final concert. Judging from the audience response, I’d say the probability of the SLC story being accurate is quite high.

RSS icon Comments

1

Wow, they should play at El Corazon where the staff can really beat the shit out of the customers in time to an awesome metal jam.

Posted by Eugene | February 29, 2008 4:03 PM
2

Embarrassing/awesome fact: My first ever make-out session went down at an Earth Crisis concert.

Posted by Eric Grandy | February 29, 2008 4:20 PM
3

XcannotXwaitXforXthisXshowX

Posted by kevin jones | February 29, 2008 5:35 PM
4

Just to be picky: penultimate means second to last, not extra-super-ultimate.

Although, I really really wish that song you mentioned was the penultimate straight edge song of all time. Earth Crisis=Limp Bizkit for Nazis.

Posted by Nicole | February 29, 2008 5:41 PM
5

XcannotXwaitXuntilXiXturnXsixteenX

Posted by Kip Kinkle | February 29, 2008 6:28 PM
6

Brian,

Knowing who that band is, that is one of the funniest stories I've read in Line Out!! I laughed out loud so hard, everyone in the room asked me what I was laughing at. I told them, and they laughed too. Fucking hilarious!

Eric, did that happen at the same show where kids were throwing string cheese at them?

Now *that's* a funny Earth Crisis story.

Posted by godsactionfigure | February 29, 2008 7:23 PM
7

thanks Nicole.

Grandy, was that the OFH show?

Posted by brian cook | February 29, 2008 9:01 PM
8

#6 I think EVERY Earth Crisis show I ever heard about between 96-98 was the "show where kids were throwing string cheese at them" I personally saw it happen twice, the best was at the Redmond Firehouse (I think that's what it was called? I only lived here for a few months while it was open.) Anyways, they played with Shelter, and on one side of the room you have Earth Crisis getting pelted with cheese, and on the other side shelter has this whole crew of Hare Krishnas chanting and giving everyone tiny ziplock bags full of trail-mix. Wow, I miss the 90s hardcore scene SO much right now.

Posted by robby | February 29, 2008 10:21 PM
9

Going to their reunion show tonight - YES! Hilarious story, although your nuts if you thought their subsequent stuff was god-awful (not counting Slither of course, which really was garbage).

Posted by Joe Z | March 1, 2008 7:22 AM
10

I saw Earth Crisis on the weirdest bill ever at Graceland. It was a co-headlining tour with them and In Flames, which was weird enough, but the opening bands were Skinlab (stoner thrash from the Bay Area) and Walls of Jericho (female fronted generic chugga chugga). In between every song, Skinlab's singer would yell out "WHO'S FUCKING HIGH TONIGHT?! ANYONE SMOKING WEEEEEEEED?!" You could see the edge kids getting pissed, haha!

And for my money, "Gomorrah's Season Ends" was ExC's best record. Not that I was ever into that sort of thing in high school. No way.

Posted by bunnypuncher | March 1, 2008 5:00 PM
11

Eric: No biggie. Just an anal grammatical nitpick of mine.

Also, I gotta admit: as much as I loathe Earth Crisis, that show in the clip looks like it'd be really fun to be at, in a strangely terrifying way.

Posted by Nicole | March 1, 2008 10:16 PM
12

Oops, meant to address the above comment to Brian. Duh.

Posted by Nicole | March 1, 2008 10:17 PM

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