Home > Live Recording > Descendents: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 08-26-85

Descendents: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 08-26-85

The three years after Milo Goes to College was released seemed like an eternity in my life, so in 1985 it was hard to believe that the Descendents had actually gotten back together and that I was going to see them. Unable to find anyone else driving up from Lawrence to catch the show (it was a Monday night, most everyone I knew was 16 and car-less, etc), I somehow managed to cajole my friend Andre into coming down from KC to both pick me up and take me back home that night. It was worth it.

This was the Milo Aukerman, Bill Stevenson, Ray Cooper and Doug Carrion lineup (listen for Doug doing his “Scoobies” right before the band plays a larval version of “Enjoy”) and though it was their first tour they were obviously already “road tight”. While seen from the vantage of 2009 there are a couple of surprises here and there (“Mr. Bass”, “Shattered Milo”, the screamy vocals on “Enjoy”) mostly the set was about what you’d expect it to be: a killer display comprised of favorites off of the “Fat” E.P., Milo Goes to College and the just-released I Don’t Want To Grow Up album.

That said, despite the high energy level of the night (the Micronotz set included — check it out here) the crowd was really pretty reserved throughout. In fact aside from a couple dudes who slammed their way through “Kabuki Girl” and a few other songs, Andre and I were the only people anywhere near the stage for a good 95% of the Descendents’ set (which is why Milo thrust the mic our way during “Hope” and you can hear Andre warbling “You’ll be the only onnnne”). Weird huh? It’s kind of hard for me to reconcile this with my memories of the next three or four times I would see them in Lawrence at the Outhouse (always super-packed shows), but in 1985 the speed of Punk Rock was moving pretty fast — maybe people just needed to be reminded.

In fact for added and somewhat embarrassing context, here’s the review I printed in my fanzine “Room 101”:

Descendents show review from Room 101 #8
Click to enlarge

Still, what a cool night. The bands were great, the ride there and back was a blast, and the songs were fantastic. I played this tape all Fall and Winter long, and though I almost feel foolish admitting how much these tunes (and others) helped get me through my teens, the truth is that they did. At 16 I was a little punk kid in search of some pop-smarts and lusty-but-achingly-heart-on-sleeve lyrics; clearly no one in 1985 could have delivered better on that than the Descendents. Thanks guys!

Descendents: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 08-26-85 Set List
Set List: Click To Enlarge
(Note: though listed here, they actually never played “Rock Star”,“I Wanna Be A Bear” or “I’m Not a Loser”.)

Descendents: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 08-26-85 (192 kbps)
01 Theme (1:18)
02 Descendents (1:39)
03 I Don’t Wanna Grow Up (1:24)
04 Kabuki Girl (1:12)
05 GCF (2:00)
06 Pervert (1:48)
07 My Dad Sucks (1:19)
08 Weinerschnitzel (0:12)
09 Mr Bass (2:16)
10 Silly Girl (2:17)
11 Christmas Vacation (2:39)
12 Hope (2:27)
13 Bikeage (2:07)
14 Wendy (Beach Boys) (2:04)
15 Myage (2:22)
16 Marriage (1:45)
17 Suburban Home (1:51)
18 I’m Not A Punk (3:52)
19 Enjoy (1:38)
20 Shattered Milo (3:00)
21 Catalina (4:42)

Oh and hey! At the end of the show be sure to listen as Keith Patterson reads the lineup of gigs set to go down over the next week in KC:

Touring: Die Kruezen, The Offenders, Killdozer, Sonic Youth, Flaming Lips.

Locals: Orange Doe-Nuts, Slabs, Lard & Vegex.

We really had it pretty fucking good.

  1. March 3rd, 2009 at 05:40 | #1

    Just discovered your blog. Excellent work. Hope you are able to keep it up!

  2. March 3rd, 2009 at 15:05 | #2

    I heard myself and I laughed out loud!

    Thanks for that.

    That was a great show. We had them all to ourselves.

  3. March 3rd, 2009 at 18:18 | #3

    “You’ll be the only onnnne”

    Should I make that my ringtone?

  4. March 4th, 2009 at 20:02 | #4

    The Descendents were the last, “holy grail” of early 80s bands I hadn’t seen that I wanted to see by the time they reconstituted themselves in 1985. It was just my luck to be posted 3800 miles away in paradise while the Descendents blazed a trail through Mid America. Even after being transferred to the Seattle area, I harbored little hope of seeing major American touring bands. (Jason, you’ve played Seattle, and you know how much of a logistical bitch it is.)

    I did get to see bands like the Minutemen, Redd Kross and DOA passing through Tacoma, and Butthole Surfers and Scratch Acid in Seattle. Imagine my elation when the Descendents were booked to play the Monroe Center in Ballard (a suburb NW of downtown Seattle). The venue was unfamiliar to me, and the night we (myself and my buddy Punk Rock Dan) drove out to Ballard, we couldn’t find the place. We drove past it twice, and then realized that it was the Monroe Elementary School! “Monroe Center” my ass!

    We turned in our tickets and walked through the hallways to the cafeteria, where the band had set up on a makeshift stage. I don’t remember much of the set list, or any particulars of the set, but I was on Cloud Fucking Nine as the band ripped through a very long “greatest hits” set.

    Still to this day, that set by the Descendents stands out as one of my Top Five concerts of all time. This recording captures a good part of the spirit I felt at the Monroe School. (There was a lot more audience singing at the Seattle show!)

    (An aside: I purchased “Enjoy” and “40 Fingers” at the same time, during a visit to Fallout Records (The Rock Therapy/Exile of Seattle) in mid-1986. Imagine Harper looking at you from the Seattle record stacks!)

    After the Seattle show, I didn’t see the Descendents again until Nov. 22, 1996 at Liberty Hall–exactly ten years after the Monroe School date!

  5. March 14th, 2009 at 02:29 | #5

    I saw the Descendents in Albany, NY in ’86, and it was basically the same crowd reaction you described here – indifference, and so forth… amazing, thinking how they’re such “legends” now. I hated “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” at the time, though, and I remember mailing it to Chris BCT for free because I didn’t want it anymore (he responded, “What am I supposed to do with this– give it to some kid in an Iron Maiden jacket?”).

  6. jay
    June 8th, 2009 at 02:06 | #6

    just discovered your blog. stoked on this descendents set! keep up the good work. its appreciated. do you have any other descendents sets youre gonna upload?

  1. No trackbacks yet.