Agent Orange schools the valley in punk rock
No one ever calls me to go out. So when I got 10 phone calls on a recent Saturday night to see if I was going to the Agent Orange show at the Sandbar, I figured I better go. Obviously, I was the only punk rocker in the valley that many of the callers knew.
Punk rock fans from all over the valley came out with their Dead Kennedy shirts and flopping Mohawks, but I wondered how many of them actually knew who Agent Orange was. I asked one of the more promising candidates, a straight Mohawk named Ben Mod, who was wearing a safety-pinned, black leather spray-painted coat. He told me, “I came out to see whoever was punk enough.” OK, maybe not.
The crowd got their freak on for the third opening punk act, Discolored Perception from Aspen, who were nothing short of glam-poser Sex Pistol rip-off punks to me. Bob Abry, from local punk act, In It For Tim, said, “Have these guys ever missed a rent check? Technically, they were good. There was pain involved in playing music like that. They have nice rigs, the glamour look, leather jackets, but how punk rock are they?”
Half the crowd thought the second opening band was actually Agent Orange. “Ignorant, undereducated, and dumb,” was Vail Valley resident Jason Hill’s thought.
There was hope, though, that someone would know the words to Agent Orange songs other than my scattering of friends and me. Vail resident Jessika Werchich said she bought the first Agent Orange album, “Living in Darkness,” 20 years ago and this was the first time she would see them live. My spirits started to lift as another Vail local, Jason Greg, said, “Agent Orange is the epitome of what a punk rock show is supposed to be.”
By the time the punk power trio hit the stage at midnight, the crowd was reassembled at the front of the stage, ready to pay tribute. The band started off with their epic surf-punk rock riffs (that surely could not be confused with Band A) and the mosh pit evolved into a bare backed free-for-all.
Front man Mike Palm called out to the crowd, “For a small town, there sure is a lot of idiots.” And the crowd cheered to that. Yes, you might be right about that, Mike, but I forgave the valley’s ignorance as we all “wrestled” on the dance floor to hits like “Secret Agent Man” and “BloodStains.”
Maybe the Eagle Valley’s In It For Tim can continue the punk education Agent Orange began. They will be playing at Loaded Joe’s in Avon on Friday, Dec. 16. The show starts at 9 p.m.
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.