At the end of July, just a day after the great Girlpool show, Baby’s All Right once again played host to a band I’ve loved for more than a year. This time around, the headlining slot fell to Radioactivity (whose self-titled effort was reviewed in one of this site’s first 10 posts)With two strong openers in tow, the night quickly turned into a frenzy of hard-hitting punk from a variety of corners. Honey Radar kicked things off with a relentlessly shambolic set of incredibly scrappy punk songs that constantly bled into each other and managed to frequently fall short of the 60 second mark. Played with vigor and an odd sense of somewhat detached joy, their set managed to be the perfect set-up for the evening’s remainder.
Flesh World followed with their own distinct brand of punishing post-punk, not bothering to give the audience much of a reprieve with a volume and intensity level that far exceeded the preceding set. The quartet followed their darkest, noisiest impulses and seemed to temporarily lose themselves in their performance, one that was greatly aided by Baby’s iconic backdrop setup, which managed to match Flesh World’s steeliest sensibilities to a frightening perfection. All the pieces fell in place and the band’s set came across as oddly triumphant before ceding the spotlight to the night’s headlining act.
After a brief tuning session- and with literally no warning- Radioactivity took a sudden headfirst dive into a marathon set that wound up equaling (and possibly exceeding) both Honey Radar’s recklessness and Flesh World’s intensity. Utilizing a myriad of seamless transitions and incorporating the strongest tracks from their latest effort, Silent Kill, the band brought just about everything they had to the stage. Old songs bled seamlessly into new songs (and vice versa), there was an astonishing determination on display, and a dynamic that saw both band and audience feeding off each other’s careening levels or energy.
By the end of the set, the bulk of the band’s still-building discography had been covered and everyone in the building looked deliriously happy and entirely exhausted. Impressively sharp and extremely high-impact, it was the exact kind of set that guarantees return visits, just as it was the exact kind of set that functions as the perfect reminder that Radioactivity’s earned- and fully deserves- their status as one of the best bands in punk.
Click over to the full photo gallery of the show here and watch some of the evening’s performances in the video below.