Ahhhhh…..election night in DC. “Cautious optimism” filled the air as myself and Margaret (the lady friend) headed into the city to check out the triumphant (and somewhat cringe inducing) return of Bad Brains to the 9:30 club. For those unfamiliar, Bad Brains were a highly influential punk/hardcore/reggae band that used to play faster and tougher than any other band on the planet only to melt your mind by busting out some cannabis induced dub/reggae jams in the middle of a set. If you wanna know what I mean by influential then go Google that shit, I’m too lazy and tired to list bands and people that count themselves as fans, but trust me it’s A LOT. And besides, it’s apparently cool nowadays to claim them as an influence, just ask your favorite band. The show had sold out about two weeks ago but we had obtained tickets months earlier so there were no worries about getting in. We arrived with time to spare and immediately hit the bar (both upstairs and down). The club was packed upon arrival and it was an incredible mix of punks, skinheads, dudes who looked like typical DC crackheads, Rastafarians, Trustafarians, heshers, yuppies, jocks and hipsters. Amazingly, there were no fights but I would attribute this to the fact that it was an early show and the omnipresent and ever pleasant DC Metro Police. Minus a few technical mistakes, like singing the wrong lyrics at times and depending on crowd participation, Bad Brains were everything I had hoped for. The energy level was high (as expected on Election Night) and the crowd went nuts for every song. I won’t go into details about the setlist but let’s just say they played pretty much everything a fan would want to hear. Unfortunately the Bad Brains of the above photo no longer exist. Due to various circumstances like jail, crack cocaine, petty arguments, “selling out” and the personal eccentricities of certain band members, they are now a sad shell of their former selves. All members are active in other projects which are all worthy of checking out. This show however, was far from a let down and I am certainly glad we went. My only gripe, asides from the bar prices, would be that we didn’t stay long enough to catch all the post election mayhem in the streets. I, sad to say, have a day job (which requires me to awaken at the ungodly hour of 7 AM) so hanging out in a bar for three hours while we awaited the good news was not really high on my list. From what I heard and saw though, the action was good natured and celebratory and was best described as “reverse race riot.” Wish I could’ve been there to see that.