In case you haven’t heard, 80s DC melodic hardcore band Dag Nasty has reunited with all of the original members from when the band first started, and released a 7-inch in 2016. On the night before New Year’s Eve, I headed to Philadelphia’s TLA in order to catch Dag Nasty once again after seeing them previously over the summer in Asbury Park, and to catch openers Loud Boyz.
I completely missed the first band Sketchy, because honestly I didn’t even know there was another opening band (nothing was mentioned on the fliers or event pages anywhere). By the time I got there the TLA had a decent amount of people but it was far from sold out and I immediately noticed I was on the younger spectrum of people there… which never fucking happens at punk shows anymore when you’re in your 30s.
I’ve heard good things about these DC punks, and was introduced to them a while back by my good friend over at Wednesdays With Andrew. Playing energetic music that takes cues from early hardcore such as Black Flag and Minor Threat and mixing it with catchy melodic punk rock, the band put on a solid show as they ripped through their set. It would be sick to see these guys in a more intimate place than the TLA and without barriers, as I’m sure it would be rowdy as hell. Do yourself a favor and go check out their album Tough Times, Hard Feelings.
Formed back in 1985, along with DC’s Embrace and Rites of Spring, Dag Nasty’s style of melodic hardcore laid the groundwork for other bands such as Lifetime and Texas Is The Reason that influenced contemporary emo bands today (seriously, just listen to how similar these two songs are: Dag Nasty, Texas Is The Reason).
I was stoked to be seeing them once again after their killer set at Punk Rock Bowling over the summer, and they wasted no time after taking the stage before removing the microphone stand as vocalist Shawn Brown declared “I won’t be using this” and they kicked into Can I Say opener “Values Here”. Playing a very Can I Say heavy set with a few from Wig Out At Denko’s, Dag Nasty played both songs off their newest 7-inch. The band joked about how they decided to play some shows but didn’t know enough songs so they were going to do a brief set of covers as they played songs from The Ruts as well as Minor Threat and Swiz, both DC bands that some of the members of Dag Nasty were in.
An incredibly solid and energetic show, Dag Nasty killed it and proved that they still got it after all these years. The only real thing that could have been better was the venue location, I feel like a smaller, barrier-less place like the First Unitarian Church basement or Voltage Lounge would have been perfect for this show. But at the end of the day, I got to see Dag Nasty, so definitely not complaining.
Setlist: (may not be in order)
Under Your Influence
Can I Say
All Ages Show
One To Two
Staring At The Rude Boys (The Ruts cover)
Ghost (Swiz cover)
Little Friend (Minor Threat cover)
Never Go Back