Refused photo by Marky Snark a.k.a. Maximilian Pandoria a.k.a. Marcus Pantojas
Usually I’m not big on hitting up the reunion tours of my favorite bands from years past. I figure if you missed it, well, you missed it, and you’re not going to relive the glory by witnessing the victory lap.
But when I heard that Refused aren’t “fuckin’ dead” any more, I didn’t question for one second that I had to go see their show at the Fox Theater. And they delivered, confirming that they’ve still got the chops and are as fierce as ever.
No, Refused didn’t bring any new material Friday night in Oakland. But that’s okay because, back in their heyday during the late-’90s, they wrote some of the most well-composed songs in hardcore. The band wasted no time proving this point, opening with an inspired take on “Worms Of The Senses/Faculties Of The Skull”, one of several songs they played off their masterpiece, 1998′s The Shape of Punk to Come.
The best part of seeing the Swedish quartet play those old songs? They’re clearly still loving every note.
This is no mere cash-in tour, and I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was for me to see that. Refused are just as politically motivated as they were back in the day. In fact, this reunion tour seems to be as much about finally reaching people with their message as it is about playing for fans who didn’t get to see them in the past. For a band like Refused, authenticity and integrity are everything, and it’s nice those things are intact. If they weren’t, this reunion would not work.