Youth of Today, Mouthpiece, and Outspoken at the Glass House

Youth of Today at the Glass House (June 5, 2011)

I first met Raghunath Cappo in 2002. A couple of hours before he played Chain Reaction, we sat on parking blocks in the parking lot and talked about his evolution from fronting the hardcore band Youth of Today to becoming a monk at an ashram in India to forming Shelter, which combined youth crew energy with Krishna consciousness. His energetic, outspoken demeanor onstage is unchanged off it, and his unflinching honesty and true excitement make him a very likable guy. We not only kept in touch afterward, but I asked him to contribute articles about everything from attending Muay Thai camps in Thailand to sharing raw food recipes. Sometimes we’d meet at Govinda’s for lunch just to catch up, and often I just ran into him there. I haven’t seen Raghu since he moved to New York to become a full-time yogi, so I couldn’t miss yesterday’s Youth of Today show at the Glass House. It was the band’s first L.A. show since 1989.

Outspoken opening for Youth of Today at the Glass House (June 5, 2011)

First up was Outspoken. The well-respected Orange County band from the early ’90s is bolstered with many new members, including a young singer who probably talked too much about listening to the band when he was in high school and it being his second show. Even so, everything was fine when the music started. I was super psyched to hear “Survival,” the first of a few anti-meat songs to be played in the evening…

Mouthpiece was next and was way more aggressive. A super burly and fun set that got the pit going, culminating in “Can We Win.” They’re from New Jersey but paid tribute to the local straight edge scene by busting out Chain of Strength’s “True Til Death” with singer Curt Canales (not above) for a bonus song.

Youth of Today at the Glass House (June 5, 2011)

Finally, Youth of Today. I love it when Raghu sings for Shelter but YOT is a totally different animal with less melody and way fewer hooks. It’s straight-up riffs, shouts, and singalongs, and Raghu’s fresh diet and regimen of yoga means that he can still jump around with the best of them–not to mention throw in a handstand. The set had everything fans wanted to hear (“Positive Outlook,” “Make a Change,” “No More,” “A Time We’ll Remember,” “Break Down The Walls”…) plus some well-chosen covers (“Minor Threat,” “Young Till I Die”) and all the reminiscing and explanation you could handle.

Youth of Today at the Glass House (June 5, 2011)

I didn’t get a chance to talk to Raghu amongst the sold-out craziness but he threw me a shaka from the stage, which was good enough. It seemed like there were members of bands left and right (Chain of Strength, Strife…), not to mention two of his sons appropriately singing along to “Youth of Today.” It was like a straight edge family vacation, reunion, and raging pit all in one! The drizzle felt good as the sweaty masses exited into the streets of Pomona’s Arts District, where I heard that hardcore punks came from as far as Malaysia, Singapore, and Korea. One more show in Pomona tonight and then the bands move on to Oakland…

7" singles circa 1990-1991