This is likely the last “review” that will ever by written for a Galactic Cannibal show, because the Milwaukee punks are officially done, over, no more, kaput. But before packing it in, they decided to go out with a bang with one last show, a Punk Rock Grillout at Borg Ward in Milwaukee, with Direct Hit!, Population Control, Jetty Boys, Soup Moat, Foreign Laws, Manger Danger, and Skategoat.
Not being from the Milwaukee area at all, I had never been to Borg Ward, and I had no idea what I was in for. In short, it was a dump. Ceiling tiles were missing, there was only one “bathroom”, the “stage” consisted of either one of two seemingly random spots where gear was set up, mic stands were held up with tape (if they stayed up at all), the vocals were hard to hear at times, it was hot as hell with no air moving through… and it was all perfect. This is exactly how I like shows to be; no gates, no big stages, no backstage where bands can disappear to once they’ve done their thing. It was all up close and personal, and is exactly what I’d want from a Galactic Cannibal show. As for the show itself, it’s everything I have come to expect from DH!/GC, plus so much more. With that being said, read the full review and check out the photo gallery below.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little late to this. I apologize for that, and I’m ashamed. But hey, I drove a long way to get there, and my wife and I had never had the chance to see Milwaukee, so we did some exploring and grabbed some food and beer before the show. When we got to the venue, I had to drive around the block a few times to make sure I was in the right place. But after looking into the alley behind the address, I could tell I was. A whole bunch of punks were standing around outside, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, and there was a tent set up where Galactic Cannibal frontman Peter Woods was grilling up burgers and hot dogs.
I caught a few songs from most of the opening bands, who all had some great energy, but I’ll admit, it was mostly too hardcore for this pop/skate-punk fan (please, feel free to ridicule me or whatever). The first band I was really looking forward to was Jetty Boys. This was my first time seeing them, and they did not disappoint. They ripped through their set, barely stopping for anything. Singer/guitarist Drew Fredrichsen even played part of one song from on the toilet. Fast, poppy, catchy, describe it how you will, it was a fun set for sure.
For many, the main attraction was Galactic Cannibal, it being their last show and all. That being said, they played right in the middle of the whole night, which really seemed to fit perfectly with the band’s short-lived career. Once they were set up, Peter Woods walked up to me and said simply, in a voice that gave the impression he was in some sort of a trance, “I will run into you.” He then proceeded to say the same thing to three or four more people next to me at the front of the “stage”. It turns out he was not lying one bit, because as soon as the music hit, it was chaos, with people smashing into me from behind, and Woods coming from my front. It was great.
When it came time for Direct Hit! to start, the room was basically empty, but that didn’t last long. People outside quickly gathered around all sides of the “stage” for what is always a great show. Jetty Boys bassist Eric Mahnke filled in on bass, and Steve Maury played guitar, with Devon Kay out on the road with one of his other (awesome) bands, The Fur Coats. Direct Hit! shows are usually a blur for me, and this one was no different. At the end of the set, I usually can’t tell you which songs they played when, but I can tell you I had one of the greatest times ever at a show. I’ve seen the band play live five times now, and it seems like each time I see them, it’s the best set I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen them live, do yourself a favor and make sure you don’t miss them the next time they’re anywhere near you (or in my case, nowhere near, but still close enough). Galactic Cannibal drummer (and gracious host of the show) Ryan Bollis stole the show at the end of set, charging in from the crowd, stealing the bass drum and throwing it onto the floor, then kicking over the rest of the drum kit. What a way to end a great night!
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