On Tour: Refused | 05.21.19, The Pageant

w/The Hives and Bleached | The Pageant | 6161 Delmar Blvd | All ages | $35 advance/ $37.50 day of show

It has to be hard to follow up after making a record that is considered (at the time) an absolute classic of the genre. Add on that it’s in a genre that tends to be snobby and contentious and it can’t make life easy. AND you definitely are not doing yourself any favors when you name said record The Shape of Punk To Come (A Chimerical Bombination In 12 Bursts) [1]. At that point you should probably recognize your situation and break up. Refused did just that.[2] That was 1998.

In the aftermath, members went on to other projects, most notably vocalist Dennis Lyxzén’s The (International) Noise Conspiracy. I really wanted to like ‘Noise.’ I didn’t. It sucked. To be fair, it sucked mainly because it wasn’t Refused.[3] As it were, Refused reformed in 2012. They recorded a new record, toured some, and soaked in the idolatry that they rightly deserved back in the late 1990s. As for the historical significance of Shape, some think pieces scoffed and savaged the band. The worst and most cutting observation[4] surmised that if Refused had stayed together, they would have played The Gathering of The Juggalos by now.

Refused don’t deserve that level of criticism, a heavy dose of good-natured ribbing perhaps, but opening for Insane Clown Posse, now that’s just mean. Sure, “New Noise”[5] turned into a sports arena anthem on par with “Welcome to the Jungle,” but think of it with the perspective of 1999, not it’s inclusion on the Enterprise Center playlist.

Let’s be honest. This is a nostalgia tour, dammit. A night middle aged (ex-) punk rockers and hardcore kids get babysitters, mix with the kiddies, and buy light beers (with or without corn syrup) that push ten bucks. The “Official Swedish Scream Tour” arrives at the Pageant May 21 with snappy, two-tone suit wearing garage rockers The Hives and Los Angeles’ Bleached. | David Lichius


[1] Hyperbolic and ostentatious is no way to go through life.
[2] Though the end came through internal strife and not because of some planned Big Black/Songs About Fucking sort of way.
[3] That and the whole anti-capitalism shit felt false and hollow.
[4] http://www.imposemagazine.com/bytes/new-music/the-shape-of-punk-to-come-refused
[5] For the record, “New Noise” is great. Ric Flair would be impressed by those woos.

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