Show Review: Murphy's Law, Cross Examination at Fubar, 7/29/08

Jul 30, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Last Night: Murphy's Law, Cross Examination Where: Fubar, 3108 Locust Boulevard Show Flyer: here

The show preview by Jonah Bayer in last week's paper was true.

"There's nothing quite like a Murphy's Law headlining gig, which is sure to leave beer-soaked hard-core fans with a giant smile on their faces instead of their usual grimace."

Murphy's Law, in the same way it has done for more than 20 years, took to the Fubar stage Tuesday night, handed out beers to the audience and poured Jagermeister down the throats of everyone in the front row. Then they took requests.

"What do you guys want to hear?" asked front man Jimmy Gestapo.

"Beer!" somebody shouted.

The hard-partying lifestyle illustrated on the New York City band's two most popular albums (1986's Murphy's Law and 1989's Back with a Bong) is still a part of a Murphy's Law show. Got a joint? Smoke it. Want a beer? Drink it. When those chemicals turn one's brain to a dazed mess, it's prime time to jump off the stage or get caught in a mosh. The atmosphere was smoky and slippery, from the cigarettes and spilled beer. Gestapo even correctly named what the acronym for which Fubar is named stands for: "Fubar. Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition."

Old hits from Law and Bong dominated; the hour set included crowd favorites "Panty Raid," "Crucial Barbecue," "Secret Agent Skin," "Stress," "Cavity Creeps," "Sit Home and Rot" and "Care Bear," among others. After opening with "Quest For Herb," the set ended with the encore song, "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In."

Murphy's Law also performs impromptu, off-the-cuff songs about members of the audience. The lucky audience member last night was someone named Phil, who had a 30-second punk song called "Fucked Up Phil" played in his honor. (Nice going, Phil.) And before the band launched into "Ska Song" from Back With a Bong, Gestapo asked the crowd if anyone knew of St. Louis' own ska band, Mu330, to which he received moderate applause. (Rob Bell, Mu330's longtime trombone player, happened to be in the audience.)

Whether the band was actually going to show up to Fubar was a question raised for most of the night. They arrived at the club about 10 p.m. A rumor swirled around that the band would bring punk legends G.B.H. -- who performed at Pop's last night -- with them. G.B.H. didn't show up to play, but Murphy's Law had instead caught their set before heading to Fubar.

(As soon as Murphy's Law arrives, a concert-goer greets the Jimmy Getstapo with a gift. Before they even get out of the van. It didn't look like a cigarette.)

Murphy's Law also covered the intro to "We Gotta Know," by the Cro-Mags and "Straight Edge" by Minor Threat.

St. Louis thrash punks Cross Examination performed before Murphy's Law.

It was the band's LP release show for Menace II Sobriety, and its final show in St. Louis before heading out on a tour of the East Coast until August 13. The group stuck to its regular set list, incorporating a few new songs and the now standard cover, "Raining Blood" by Slayer.

Opening up the night were locals Opposites Attack, Punch You in the Face and Benedict Arnold. Unfortunately I missed Opposites Attack (next time, guys!). Punch You in the Face, reminded me of late '90s SoCal punk (and I actually found myself looking forward to the ska parts of each song, which were accented by a saxophone). Benedict Arnold raged through its set of '77-'82 punk revival, reminiscent of bands like the Unseen. Again, mildly entertaining but nothing out-of-the-ordinary.

News and Notes: Fubar, which opened earlier this year, now has an off-white, parchment-colored banner that reads "fubar." and is a new fixture on the stage. If you were wondering. Overheard quote: "Sammy Hagar is like, the exact opposite, he's not Van Halen, but he's cool-as-fuck," says a guy with a red Rancid T-shirt, camouflage shorts and Doc Marten boots. Even the old skinheads and punks like the Red Rocker in St. Louis. Later on, the guy was seen yelling, "Play a fucking song!" to the members of Punch You in the Face. Repeatedly. "Shit, man. Shit!" he continues.

-- Nick Lucchesi