Circle Jerks w/ 7 Seconds & Negative Approach • March 17, 2022 • The Complex
Photographed by Jacob Moniz & Reviewed by Carter Sears
It wasn’t hard to tell what kind of show you were walking into on the evening of St. Patrick’s Day. The patched jean jackets, piercings, and tattoos were uncountable outside as circle jerks summoned the old punks and the new generation of the straight edge population of Salt Lake to The Complex. The crowd, ready to start the pit and buzzing with excitement filtered in. With a mad dash to the merch booth blocking the door. This dedication to the scene and vibe of old-school punk was held through the night.
Starting with a Negative Approach. The old-school straight edge kings came out swinging. John Brannon, the singer, was able to scream through an entire set with no hiccups. His voice brought intensity and energy to the room, With the guitarist ever facing his amp, in an old school, no monitor-learned kind of way, and the bassist singing backup. They shot through their set, getting the moshpit started, and the crowd excited. Every song was angrier and more exciting than the last.
After Negative Approach, 7 seconds came on. The band cruised through their first three songs, with all the cleanliness and swagger of a band that has been playing to crowds for years. Which made it all the more surprising when the singer announced this was their first show in 7 years. The band was obviously very well-rehearsed and cruised through songs like true professionals. They had the mosh pit in the palm of their hand. The singer talked about and apologized for his lack of movement. Explaining he wasn’t 20 anymore and had had some injuries. Despite this, 7 seconds had complete control of the crowd the whole show. The crowd never stopped with a constant mosh, people singing along and everyone having fun.
The old-school energy stayed apparent. Instead of hiding away in the green room during the stage set, The Circle Jerks singer came up to the barrier and wandered around the stage. Chatting up fans, and casually making sure the stage was how he liked it. The roadies set up the stage and gave the band a go-ahead as the tiguan jazz band blasted over the venue speakers. Instead of going into a song, Kieth Morris chose to tell stories of the first time the band had been through Salt Lake.
He then went into bullying Zander, the old bassist, for eating red iguana and suffering from the “effects” of the local favorite Mexican restaurant. After this stint of casual chatting, they decided to start their first song, opening with “Deny Everything”. They went straight through about four songs, before taking a break. Keith explained they would be playing songs in blocks to keep themselves from tiring out. These breaks proved to be some of the most fun parts of the concert with the crowd banter, and goofy interludes created to keep everyone entertained.
At one point, Keith stopped the show briefly to let a female fan take respite from the moshpit. As the songs got heavier, the pit got more intense as well. With “Wild in the Streets” drawing elbows and fists out of people, but when the songs would stop, the hugs would start and all was well again.
The night was a perfect storm of new punk fans getting to experience their old favorites, and the old punk fans reliving their youth. With the bands all just happy to be there, and even the crew being cheery. Proving that the punk scene is its own little corner of the world anywhere you look.