4th september 1999- Arena Parco Nord, Bologna, Italy

Tre allegri ragazzi morti
Sick of it all
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
The Offspring

The Indipendent Days has been a very well organized festival, all the 9 bands alternated themselves without problems and delays, but the rain. It rained a lot, massacring all the people, also us, who came back to the hotel along with 10 kgs of mudd spreaded EVERYWHERE and without a square cm of dried skin. The rain fell down without rest for the last 3 and half hours of the festival, no truce, becoming a real storm. The festival crowd has been the best thing:  10000 and more truly bloody fans of not just punk-rock, who welcame all the bands, and tireless and  very wet, took part to every single song, trowing'em in a wicked pogo, also when it created a wide liquid muddy pool from the 3rd row.  The splash-pogo has been the real king of the night.
The italians 3 Allegri Ragazzi Morti, in a great shape, opened the gig: respect the time of the Beach Bum Festival (2nd of july 1999) they looked more rocking...as they were more run in than in the past. The audience appreciated all their songs and not only  "Occhi Bassi" the hit of their new CD, which video is broadcasted by MTV e TMC2 (the italian music channel). This means that the band is growing up with huge and serious fans who go beyond the commercial promotion. The best track was our favourite one "Fortunello", featured on the stage by a "clown"  (who is Fortunello). Verdena, another italian band who attended the second stage at Beach Bum Festival and yesterday moved up with merit to the main one, went after them. Verdena have a great future: not only they do a high level music, we define them between the early Smashing Pumpkins and Placebo, but they also have a lot of good musical ideas. They are powerful and cleaver musicians too. The best young group on the italian scene. Much better than other, very well promoted but stupid and meanless bands who are always broadcasted by musical TVs. The crowd welcame them in an enthusiastic way. But the italian band who really triumphed yesterday was the Punkreas: audience ovation!! All the people knew their lyrics and sang all their songs. It was whole a wild slamdancing. GREAT!!!!!  After the Punkreas the non-italian bands started to play: the first one it was the very good Lit, from Orange County, California, USA, who proposed pieces from the old and the new albums. Their music style is close to the one of  Lagwagon and Blink 182, but more powerful in the intros. The singer, flaming-red dressed, looks like the young version of Joey from Lagwagon and, along with the blond guitarist, is the main element of the band. Lit provoked pogo with the kids singing their songs.Then the Hepcat went on stage. The mythic ska band, who is with Hellcat records, played for 45 minutes. Of course the enviroment was too punk-rock to be totally involved in their music,no pogo and crowd surfing, but everyone danced having a lot of fun.All the people sang the chorus "Lallalllallalalalallla" of their hit song. And finnally, for just 3/4 of 1 hour, Sick of It All stepped the scene, the best band of the festival along with Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros.  SOIA kicked ass a lot more than the other. They are the best on the Hardcore scene and one of the greatest live band. They don't need soap bubble, old style funny sketch, special effects or a punk rock version of Obladì Obladà, to catch the crowd. They have a sound power and they are bloody  communicative! Pogo and crowd surfing were both violent, in a positive way of course! The people went crazy. Hardcore is not easy listening and commercial, but SOIA make it edible and fun for all since a lot of years. They played "Call to arms", from their last album, one of our favourite, US vs. Them, No future and many more. While we were arguing about their show with other people agreement, saying that "They are the best, no one compared to SOIA" one kid stopped, all infalted and totally exausted by the pogo, saying "Well done! They are Gods!" with a so crazy sight that we started to laugh a lot.  What about Silverchair? the audience was shared in two. There were a lot of disappointed fans who waited for them, after the Silverchair cancelled, this winter, their show in Milan at the last minute (there were people come from 1000 km for them.....). There were also bored guys. Actually we are not fans of Silverchair, they look like too much to Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but we enjoyed their gig.The singer seems a poseur....  maybe it is just a wrong impression, so Silverchair fans sorry! The people didn't understand when he asked them "Give me an alleluja!!!" so they answered "Yeees!". Silverchair "Give me an alleluja!!!" The crowd "Yeah!!!". Silverchair "Want you give me a allefuckingluja?!?!??????" So the crowd, who didn't understand a single word answered "Yeah!!!".  After them went out Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. It has been a great emotion, for all the people who know and love the punk history and for who lived the punk '77 period, have the chanse to see again or for the first time the singer of that mythic and unforgettable band called The Clash!!!!! All the crow hotly welcame him and his band. Joe Strummer himself, at the end of his performance, thanked a lot the italian audience, telling that he needed it because the night before in Germany they had a "Bad night". If the Mescaleros songs didn't inflated so much, the Clash ones, from "Rock the Casbah" to "London Calling",  "Bankrobber" and  "I fought the law" (and law won), made the panic. All sang and you could see the strong emotion the songs provoked to the fans...it rained a lot and this Londonish weather like made the gig very suggestive... You should have not loose it! What also impressed us a lot was the humanity and simplicity of a man who made the music history and created the punk movement. Is this truly genius?
After Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros we waited for 60 minutes under a heavy and pelting rain (of course to play the Offspring now need of a supertechnological stage) and then they came. Pogopop is very polemic with the Offspring, because they have lost their heart and the truly feeling of the music. They purposed the same clichè of the last concert we've attended in Rome, last february. Nothing more, nothing less. It seems now that these bands, Green Day included unfortunately, raised the success, must restrain their live performances into rigid schemes, prefixed and in a repetitive way. No place for the spontaneity, neither to say "Hey guys, thanks for waited for us for so long time under this cold rain!". There are some bands, like Bad Religion, that even if they signed for a major, they didn't sell their souls to the devil beheaving just as a gold eggs hen, keeping their indipendence in their choises. Actually the Offspring were never been so good live but until 1997 their concerts were honest and very funny...We love them because songs as "Gotta Get Away","Bad habit" o "Smash" o "Jennifer lost her war" etc etc. are unforgettable and bloody dragging and we'll never fed up to listen them. What will remain of their Indipendent Days gig will be the pogo in the mudd under the rain, nobody will forget it. The only bis they made was "Why don't you get a job", punky version of the Beatlesian "Obladì Obladà", which horrified all the first hour and truly fans, like me. We do think that a group must evolve in its carrier and  change (even if the Ramones remained the same for all their artistic life without boring anibady!!!) but improving! Anyway we do still love the Offspring.
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