Straight-edge pioneers Youth of Today and D.Y.S. doing one-off show in Denver

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Update, November 8: Youth of Today has postponed the show due to a family emergency.


Summit Music Hall

will continue what's become a rotation of classic punk and metal bands playing its stage (

Bad Brains


Stiff Little Fingers


Saint Vitus

come to mind) November 10 when Youth of Today and D.Y.S. are scheduled to perform. What makes this show different is that the bands aren't on any sort of official comeback or reunion tour -- they're flying in and flying out for the one-off gig.

Mike Barsch

, owner of the multiple-venue

Soda Jerk Presents

, fills us in below.

"I think they are looping it in with some other dates but essentially they are flying in for this show," Barsch says. "It's not a routed tour date, they're not in a van going across the country or anything."

Barsch, whose Soda Jerk Presents operates the Summit Music Hall and Marquis Theatre in Denver in addition to the Black Sheep venue in Colorado Springs, last saw Youth of Today back in 1986 in Madison, Wisconsin at a hot-and-sweaty house show.

"[Youth of Today] had a guy with them who was probably their roadie or tour manager or who knows back then, they didn't have tour managers, but he had a broken leg and he was on crutches. Somebody pissed him off and he was hopping around beating him with his crutches."

It's safe to say that scene will not be played out on Blake Street in November, but Youth of Today, who rekindled the straight-edge fire in 1985 -- a few years after the first wave of the punk movement died down after Minor Threat, SSD and D.Y.S. had fizzled out or broken up -- still can incite frenzied crowds, as reunion shows here and abroad have shown.

D.Y.S. infamously went the straight-ahead rock/metal route after releasing its Brotherhood 12" on X-Claim in '83 and the lauded Wolfpack demo, the title track of which is lauded as having one of the best intros in hardcore. Anyone who's seen a room of kids go insane while it's covered can attest to this. The band's singer, Dave Smalley, went on to form Dag Nasty and do time in Down by Law and All. The rest of the D.Y.S.'s lineup on this show include members of Slapshot and Gang Green, says Barsch.

Youth of Today's lineup includes original members Ray Cappo on vocals and John "Porcell" Porcelly on guitar, with Ken Olden (ex-Battery) on bass and Vinny Panza (who you may remember as drumming during the Bold reunion) on drums. Expect to hear covers -- "Young 'Til I Die" by 7Seconds and "Straight Edge" by Minor Threat -- and be disappointed they don't play their entire catalog (see the full set list from the June show in Austin, Texas). But a reunion show is a reunion show. You are sure to hear more than a few anecdotes from Ray of Today about writing letters and trading cassettes, which should be enough to satiate fans to whom a pre-Internet world is unfamiliar.

As you may remember, Soda Jerk also put on the Gorilla Biscuits show -- which was part of a full-fledged reunion tour for the band -- a few years ago at Cervantes'.

Barsch points out, stage-diving is not encouraged at this show.

Before We're Done (who opened for Agnostic Front last night at the Marquis) and xPerspectivex open the show. Tickets are $16.

We'd be remiss for excluding this gloriously cheesy, yet earnest, Youth of Today music video for "No More."

More straight-edge hardcore: "In honor of Minor Threat's 30th anniversary, here are five straight-edge bands keeping the spirit alive."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.