When I first heard that 90’s political hardcore band Refused were reuniting this year, I definitely wanted to see them live. And on Friday night…I did. I arrived at the House of Blues a bit later than I planned, so I ended up missing the opening band Off!.
Let me get this out of the way first, I absolutely hate the Boston House of Blues with a passion and try to avoid any show there, unless it’s someone I desperately want to see. You don’t even go through this much security and pat downs at the airport! And don’t get me started on the overpriced drinks and attitudes of many of the staff (although the bartender on the 3rd level was actually pretty cool). I grabbed a Harpoon UFO White, which tasted really bad (guessing it was old stock) and found a spot on the 2nd level mezzanine looking down to the stage, as I and several others waited for Refused to come out.
After a long musical buildup, a huge curtain with “Refused” on it dropped and the crowd went wild! Starting off with “Worms of the Sense/Faculties of the Skull“, a huge mosh pit formed. Actually, the pit grew and kept going for the rest of the night. Even the band was dancing and jumping around through their whole set, with frontman Dennis Lyxzén showing off some old school popping moves. This led me to wonder who would win a dance off, Dennis Lyxzén or At The Drive In’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala? He also told stories from the band’s past as well.
Funky dance moves aside, the band sounded amazing and you’d never know that they only reunited just this year. That’s just how tight they were. It was actually kind of strange to see a band play longer than 30 minutes, since I’ve been going to smaller shows lately and that seems to be the norm. At one point, Dennis jumped into the crowd, which held him up and was a pretty cool sight to see. They finished with “The Shape of Punk to Come” and left the stage.
The band came back out for a 2 song encore, which they held back “New Noise” for. At the end, the band all took a bow, acknowledging the fans. They absolutely killed it and this definitely goes down as one of the best concerts I’ve been to in 2012.