Title Fight, Live at Slim’s, San Francisco, March 13, 2015

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Title Fight

By Joe DeBonis

If there was one thing I learned from this show, is that I am finally starting to feel old. Not in a bitter old way and not in a physically incapacitating way, but in a nostalgic, fond way. The reason is; I simply cannot mosh like I use to. In my past, when I would go to a punk show, it would be my goal to stay in the pit the whole time, no matter the weight or aggression of the other moshers. After a couple elbows to the face, this strategy slowly faded and I would only enter the pit during the wildest part of the set. After seeing Title Fight for the second time in my life though, I think it is safe to say I am done moshing at the intensity I used to because I simply just got thrown about as I hovered on the edge of the pit, not ever entering the true depths this time yet I still managed to get a few bruises to show off.

Even though I did not mosh as much as I am used to, the show was still one to remember. Initially when we first got there, Ruben and me had our ID’s checked under heavy scrutiny and had to recite our addresses and zip codes as if we had fakes. This caused us to miss most of the first act and by the time we got in and had got our bags checked Merchandise was just coming on. I had honestly never listened to much by them, but from what I did know, I did not think they were the most appropriate band to have on the tab with Title Fight. I could not have been more right, as the band came on and began their set of indie, soft rock, the hard core infused crowd could barley contain their boredom. In another venue at another time Merchandise probably would have been a fine show, but there, when the entire crowd wanted to do was mosh, they could not have been more out of place. I rarely wish a band off stage, but that night, Merchandise was the furthest thing from what I wanted on stage.

After the 35-minute state, an almost audible sigh of relief could be heard as the punk music began playing on the stereo as the stage was being prepared for Title Fight. Pinkerton was being played in its entirety over the loud speakers and you could taste the anticipation building all around. I still personally did not know enough of the material to be able to sing along to every song, but I knew regardless I was going to have an intense time. From the instant Title Fight hit the stage right up to the end, there was an intensity that just reverbed all around the crowd. Even when they played tracks off of Hyperview and the crowd had to settle down just a bit, everyone was always ready for action. It felt as the show ebbed and flowed from old, more hard core tracks off of Shed to the newer stuff, that Title Fight had only released Hyperview so they had longer breaks at shows when they got to play the slower songs. It all mixed well together, and even the most hardcore fans still knew the lyrics to the shoe gaze songs.

It was really just a beautiful punk show, people moshing into each other as hard and violently as they could but at the next second hugging each other and commiserating over battle wounds. We saw multiple guys puke in the bathroom, many near concussions as crowd surfers were dropped unceremoniously and of course lots and lots of sweat. This was punk at its finest and I will always love these kinds of shows, even if my body won’t allow me to mosh like I used to.

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