Agent Orange with Laramie Dean
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Churchill's Pub, Miami Nov. 16 2008
SoCal surf/skatepunk legends Agent Orange gave an all-out performance last night to a packed crowd at the colorful Churchill's Pub in Little Haiti. The trio of forty-something-year-olds came on at around 1 a.m. and kept the party rocking like it was 1989 after a solid set by surf punk guitarist Laramie Dean.
Laramie Dean, the self-proclaimed surf-punk machine, disciple of surf-guitar god Dick Dale, came on next with his (louder) brand of classic surf punk. Though Dean’s set was a bit removed from the gutter punk bands that played before him, his virtuosity definitely kept the crowd’s attention, while providing a great segue to the main act.
Agent Orange, though old enough to have fathered most of the audience, showed no signs of slowing down. Lead singer and guitarist Mike Palm had a smile on his face the entire time, as he led the band through countless classics including "Everything turns Gray," "Bloodstains," "Pipeline," "Too Young to Die," and finishing the night off with punk-rock anthem "The Last Goodbye."
Despite decades of touring, Agent Orange keeps a D.Y.I. attitude, wearing the various hats of tour bus driver, merch salesman, roadie/sound tech, legendary songwriter and world-class performer.
A punk show at Churchill's is always an experience, from avoiding the crackhead parking lot supervisors, to dodging fists and spikes in the pit. You leave stinking like sweat, smoke, beer and possibly vomit, and with a serious ringing in your ears. But you go home with a sense of camaraderie toward your fellow man, a feeling of having taken part in something real. Seeing a band like Agent Orange play there adds a kind of historic relevancy, a connection with the past—back to the days when punk kids were doing pretty much the same thing they are today, paving the way for future generations of noise and filth and fun.
- Ben Thackeri