Feb. 12, 2015
In the first five minutes of Friday the 13th, Brad Logan led Leftover Crack through a smoldering take of “Stop the Insanity.” Thee sold out Parkside in Potrero Hill marinated in sweat and spilled beer. A group of teenage punks, their blue, green, and red mohawks the only drop of color in the room, formed a front line against the stage.
[jump] With Xs on their hands, they gripped the railing and screamed the lyrics back at Logan. Occasionally, one looked up, searching for front man Scott Sturgeon. He’d been seen during sound check, mixing liquor in 12-ounce Arrowhead water bottles in front of the bass drum, but when the band finished their opening song, he was nowhere to be found.
“All the way from the back of the food stamp line,” the P.A. system broadcast. “And straight out of motherfucking rehab, it’s the good, the bad, and the LEFTOVER CRACK.”
On cue, Sturgeon busted down the “exit only” side door and jumped on stage. He tore off his crusty denim vest, his back-patched black hoodie, and put a finger to his temple as he ripped through “Clear Channel,” the opening song off 2004’s Fuck World Trade.
For the next hour and 15 minutes, the rail in front of the stage buckled under the autonomous attitude of San Francisco’s crustiest punks. The pit ebbed and flowed, subject to the tidal pull of the room’s energy.
Killing cops, resisting arrest, dismantling the capitalist system, dead friends, drug overdoses, crack cocaine, methamphetamines, unity, homosexuality, autonomy, atheism, police brutality, racism, and death. They’re the same subjects that Leftover Crack has been singing about for over a decade, but in the wake of 2014’s public protests of police brutality, they were received by an equally tired and zealous audience.
At each mention of law enforcement, Sturgeon drew a finger across his tattooed jugular vein and bared his teeth. Flanked by Logan on his right and guitarist Chris Mann on his left, Sturgeon pogoed, flailed his limbs in serpentine jumping jacks and karate-chopped his way through the set. The pit, which hadn’t been more than 15 people during opener Union 13’s Spanish-language rendition of Rancid’s “Roots Radicals,” enveloped the entire room. Audience members were hanging from the rafters, stage diving, and clawing at the monitor so precariously bolted into the ceiling.
“There are a lot of ‘Tenderloins’ in America,” Sturgeon said to the crowd. “But I fucking love this town, and I’m no longer afraid to say it. This song goes out to your Tenderloin, and to all our dead friends,” he said before driving through ska-core anthem “Crack City Rockers.”
Leftover Crack is recording their new album at Fat Wreck Chords’ Motor Studios in Bernal Heights. The still untitled album will be the first since 2004’s Fuck World Trade, and is forecast to be released this fall. The band played two songs off the album: “Don’t Shoot ‘Till You See the Whites of Their Skin,” and a cover of opening band Blackwood Daum’s “Last Legs.”
The evening played like a greatest hits catalog, and included “Infested” from Sturgeon’s previous band, Choking Victim, alongside Leftover Crack classics “Rock the 40 oz,” “Born to Die,” “Crack Rock Steady,” and encore “Gang Control.”