Circle Jerks at The Crofoot in Pontiac, MI

Circle Jerks @ Crofoot, Pontiac | Photo By Chuck Marshall
Circle Jerks @ Crofoot, Pontiac | Photo By Chuck Marshall

The Circle Jerks with Negative Approach prove that hardcore punk is for all ages by packing the Crofoot in Pontiac.

One look around The Crofoot in Pontiac makes it clear that hardcore punk is alive and well in 2022. The show has yet to start and the room is full of happy people. The audience spans the generations that the Circle Jerks have been waving their middle finger at mainstream rock and the establishment in general. Just as we needed the Circle Jerks’ song “World Up My Ass” in 1980, we certainly can use it today.

Lighting the fuse for this hardcore extravaganza is Detroit’s own Negative Approach. John Brannon wears his patented scowl as he bellows, “You’re just a hypocrite!” Ron Sakowski and John Lehl get the crowd moving with rhythms running at breakneck speed. Meanwhile, Harold Richardson worships at the Sunn and Marshall temple while blasting riffs that would send Jesus crowd surfing.

Negative Approach let the music do the talking cranking through their set which includes favorites such as “Sick of Talk,” “Friend Or Foe,” and “Pressure.” Each tune hits like a brutal shot to the head and heart that keeps the mosh pit happy. 

With fans primed and ready, Greg Hetson (guitar), Zander Schloss (bass), and Joey Castillo (drums) take the stage and fire up a little intro before Keith Morris (vocals) grabs the mic and asks, “Everybody doing all right tonight?” The crowd cheers and Keith relays that the band has tested negative, however, their soundman and 7Seconds could not make the show due to Covid. The pandemic is not going away any time soon, but tonight’s show goes on.

After Keith introduces the band, they jump into “Deny Everything” and the crowd goes wild. The mosh pit fires up. Hearty fans at the barricade brace for impact and security runs over to grab a crowd surfer in what appears to be a dinosaur costume. It’s all good clean fun.

Keith explains that the pandemic jacked up the 40th-anniversary celebration of the Circle Jerks’ debut Group Sex album. Time rolls on and now they can add to the celebration with the 40th-anniversary of Wild In The Streets. “We’re playing groups of songs. We’re playing blocks of songs,” adds Keith. “This next block of songs is five songs and it starts with ‘When The Shit Hits the Fan.'” And just like that, the crowd is re-ignited with bobbing heads, fists in the air, and plenty of moshing.

With just five songs left in the set, the Circle Jerks invite a kid who has been up front at the barricade with his parents during the entire show to come up and stage dive into the crowd. He gladly accepts and leaps into the crowd which cheers in approval. Keith says, “That alone makes all of this worthwhile.” Thanking the crowd, the Circle Jerks jump into “World Up My Ass.” You can’t help but admire the Circle Jerks for standing the test of time and continuing to kick ass and take names.

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About Chuck Marshall 45 Articles
Chuck loves music. If it is powerful and played with conviction, that is even better. In a past life, Chuck enjoyed thrashing on the stage in a Michigan metal band (Battalion). Now he prefers to use his imagery and words to capture the essence of a concert or an album. See and feel the music with Chuck; you’ll be glad you did.