When I arrived for OFF!'s in-store at Vacation Vinyl on Sunset tonight, the only other non-employee in the Silver Lake shop was the band's singer, Keith Morris (ex-Black Flag, Circle Jerks…). Not awkward. He's a totally approachable guy that will talk to any fan–even ones that have interviewed him at length. He asked if I bought into the hype of their newly released box-set of 7″ singles. What could I say? There I was.
Eventually, the staff cleared out the shop, had everyone line up, and gave priority to customers who pre-ordered the OFF! release. I snagged a spot right in front of Steven McDonald's amp. I totally forgot earplugs, but there are some musicians I don't mind losing some hearing for.
Being that close actually made taking pictures difficult for an unschooled photographer like me… So much movement so close to the lens with uneven light, and there was no way to get the entire band with any sharpness since the pancake is so flat. I just played with the settings, fired off a load of shots, and trusted that a few would work out. (The pics you see are uncropped and unbalanced.)
This shows the small size of the record store. I like the shop a lot, and was a little worried about it being leveled by skins, mohawks, and jocks feeding off the pure punk energy of OFF! and turning it into Fender's Ballroom. But the show was totally civil and not even a sausage party.
What can I say that I haven't already gushed many times over in this blog or at any chance I get. OFF! is an incredible group with rad talents from all sorts of bands reaching back into their primal punk rock roots and going, well, off. Afterward, I got to talk to Keith, Steven, and Mario–all cool dudes that I happen to have had contact or mutual acquaintances with. Maybe I'll say hi to axe man Dimitri next time I catch them, probably sooner than later.