Into the pit with Tense Reaction, Call the Cops, Dr. Know & MDC in Amsterdam
Another day, another gig. This time, it’s a long anticipated one since its announcement due to a brute of a line-up consisting of Tense Reaction, Call the Cops, Dr. Know and MDC (aka Millions of Dead Cops) at Pacific Parc in Amsterdam. With an assemble like this, you know this isn’t gonna be a gig your Clash-loving dad would enjoy (or he might, I wouldn’t know).
Music started a bit over an hour after its official playtime, and that’s okay. First act of the evening was local scene veterans Tense Reaction from Utrecht comprised of members who played in Mihoen, Dandare, Vitamin X, All Tensed Up and more. These legends demolished their instruments with no remorse from start to finish. Despite all their sonic chaos, I couldn’t help but get stunned by every member’s speed and skill on their instruments. The guitars would sometimes venture into weird solos and once you’re about to crack it and try to make sense of it, it gets back into hardcore mayhem. Michiel on vocal duty was really pissed off, listening to him would assault one’s sense of safety. Last but not least, it was beautiful to watch Irmin on drums destroy his kit. It all went so fast!
Next up, Call the Cops from Bologna, Italy. This was the only band I hadn’t heard before the gig. A friend was telling me the day before that he has a friend whose band toured with them, and legend says shit always went down with these guys on the road. One day, they lost one of the band members on the way from one place to another, so they just played an acoustic show instead. When I saw them, halfway through the show, they announced that “this isn’t even our drummer.”
These duders play furious street punk and do deliver! I’ll let the video footage below speak for their sound, but do keep an eye for them if they come near you, and check out their 2016 full-length Bastards. They sing about sex, drugs, punk and the police.
I first heard of Dr. Know through Slayer’s Undisputed Attitude where they covered Dr. Know’s Mr. Freeze. These guys’ first release dates back to 1984 and I don’t think they’ve played the Netherlands before (please correct me if I’m wrong), so I was curious how the show was gonna turn out. They had gone through numerous line-up changes, but I hadn’t kept track. Nevertheless, the outcome was 100% OG 80’s crossover thrash. To raise the HC meter, vocalist Brandon Cruz was beating his head with a drumstick to the tempo for a good chunk of the show’s duration to the point of bleeding but no fucks were given.
MDC’s been here at least two times in the past three or four years, and every time I planned to go see them, life got in the way and I missed them. Their debut had always been a favourite so it was a check off my bucketlist to hear their short, catchy political punk songs live. I don’t think anyone was sober by the time MDC got on stage. They are what you’d expect them to be live: fun, and kept the pit going for the entirety of the show.
I’m still high off this gig. Call the Cops was a refreshing surprise with a true punk energy. Again, check out their album Bastards if you haven’t heard them. You can listen to it on their bandcamp here. Dr. Know killed it, might’ve been my favourite performance but it’s not easy to choose. And already looking forward to seeing fastcore beasts Tense Reaction again next month along with Subhumans (and others). Shoutout to Pacific Parc, Corpus Delicti Records, We Hate Radio’s pre-reggae and mid/after-show punk vinyl beats, Fuige Fem and the police for inspiring this gig. Fuige captured great moments throughout the night, you can view her shots below. Keep the underground spirit alive.
CALL THE COPS