Chris Taylor (center) and Bryan Funck (Thou's vocalist, stepping in for Blake Midgette) of pg. 99 perform at the Black Cat. i
Reid Haithcock for NPR
Chris Taylor (center) and Bryan Funck (Thou's vocalist, stepping in for Blake Midgette) of pg. 99 perform at the Black Cat.
Reid Haithcock for NPR

Live in Concert

pg. 99 Live In Concert

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After disbanding eight years ago, the creatively chaotic punk band pg. 99 developed a cult following of the variety that inspires tattoos, bootleg T-shirts and a string of musical imitators. The group's individual members have gone on to other projects, but pg. 99's impact on post-hardcore is massive, if sometimes unsung. So on August 27, a night that could not have been more miserable — no thanks to the howling winds and sideways rain of Hurricane Irene — there was little stopping a sold-out crowd from lining up around the Black Cat in Washington, D.C., to witness the second of two scheduled reunion shows, which also featured Thou and the newly re-formed Circle Takes the Square.

When I interviewed pg. 99 earlier this month, guitarist Mike Taylor told me, "It's the crowd that gave pg. 99 its delivery." I never saw the band when they terrorized basements and clubs around the turn of the millennium, but after surviving the mass chaos that was Best Friends Day in Richmond — and watching kids repeatedly break Black Cat's "No Stage Diving/Crowd Surfing" rule — Taylor's assessment was spot-on. We were the sweaty limbs of an eight-member band, pounding our fists in the air to a furious swarm of claustrophobic chords, a relentless dynamic tide, and two screaming vocalists who prowled the stage like caged panthers.

Set List

"More Complicated Than a Sci-Fi Flick"
"In Love With an Apparition"
"Your Face Is a Rape Scene"
"Life in a Box"
"Ruiner of Life"
"We Left As Skeletons"
"Punk Rock in the Wrong Hands"
"Ballad of Circling Vultures"
"The Hollowed Out Chest of a Dead Horse"

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