“It’s kind of funny how a band is always more popular after they break up,” says guitarist Dylan Thomas, after his final performance/reunion show with his punk rock band The Badamps. To sum it all up, the Mt. Pleasant Community Centre was an unlikely place for the end of a Vancouver punk era on February 3rd. It was at this unusual venue with no stage that two local bands with a loyal following—The Badamps and FUN 100—played their last shows, while guests The Doers and Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome rounded out the proceedings.
When “community centre” and “all-ages punk show” get put together in the same sentence, there’s bound to be expectations of a young audience with crossed arms bobbing up and down. Instead, the show went from your average rock-a-thon to a giant mosh pit, with a band somewhere in the middle of the melee. These kids just took it to the next level, going as far as to knock mics onto the bands. “It was amazing,” says Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome guitarist Craig Fahner. “Seeing FUN 100 play with a hundred kids singing along instead of a PA was so incredible. It was like that scene in Another State of Mind when Minor Threat is playing a show where the sound man doesn’t show up and they play anyway, and the vocals as sung by the entire crowd come through with perfect clarity. Except Minor Threat had politics, whereas FUN 100 are about having fun.” Likewise preoccupied with enjoying themselves, Fahner and his band, who had come all the way from Calgary to open the show with an energetic mix of indie punk and underwear, were an excellent way to kick off the night.
As great as the concert was, the fact that it was the last show for two of the four bands gave the night a tint of nostalgia. “We never really had lots of luck as a band,” Ryan Dyck, vocalist and keytarist of FUN 100 explains, “But we still did what we wanted, so it turned out to be a fitting last show.” The two retiring bands were just there to go out having a good time. “I’ve never had so much fun. People genuinely seemed into it, and it was a great way to end it,” says Thomas. They played some songs off their new EP Two/Face and brought back some favourites that hadn’t been played in years, such as the ever-popular “Banned from the IGA”.
Thomas explained his reasons for ending the band on the mic in front of everyone, claiming it was due to his feeling, “like we weren’t going anywhere, and I felt like I had written all the pop-punk love songs I could.” It’s a style he found very limiting to write with in the first place. In the time between The Badamps’ new release and their previous records, Thomas went on to perform solo as a folk singer, and with another, more intense punk band he fronts, The Jolts. New projects are also possible in the future for FUN 100, and their reasons for breaking up aren’t too different. According to Dyck, “We couldn’t keep up what people expected of FUN 100, and more line-up changes were looming on the horizon, something we didn’t want to deal with.”
The final show for FUN 100 nearly didn’t happen. Come midnight, after a few noise complaints from the pleasant citizens of the neighbourhood, equipment failure and an appearance by the RCMP sounded the death knell of any party. The last thing anyone heard from FUN 100 was that they only had time for one song. “They were about to shut it down, we were told we couldn’t play at all, but we managed to squeeze in 4 songs. When I told the crowd that we were allowed to play one song, I was lying,” recalls Dyck. The music came from the crowd, who burst into song on their own, then turned to backing music for FUN 100’s set, which included an extended drum solo to “Hot Popular Girl”. Meanwhile, Mount Pleasant Community Centre organizers began to take the amps and mics away until the lights came on and the power was cut. “Everything I wanted to happen at our last show happened, and it was more memorable than playing the same set again,” Dyck said.
There was crowd-surfing galore, Dyck hanging from rafters (those rafters were asking for it), smashing of keyboards, girls crying when toy keys were lodged in their eyes, and a visit from the Vancouver Police Department to break up the show. “It’s a shame that FUN 100 never really got to play,” Thomas laments. “Though in a way, it was probably a more memorable show for them and us. It was pretty cool to see everyone singing their songs even though they were told to stop.”