The most impressive thing about this Dead Boys show in Hollywood was that, against the odds, it didn't feel like empty, nostalgia-fueled fun. There are only two original members – guitarist Cheetah Chrome and drummer Johnny Blitz – in this 2017 version of the Dead Boys, assembled to celebrate the 40th anniversary of debut album Young, Loud & Snotty. So by rights, what we should be getting here is a couple of old punks and a few guys that they roped in to fill out the numbers, going through the motions with some classic punk rock tunes. After all, singer Jake Hout previously fronted a “zombie” Dead Boys tribute called The Undead Boys. This might suck, right?
Not at all. Not even a little bit.
It felt like a fresh, angry young band, hungry to pummel the audience with an energy befitting twenty-somethings stepping on some dive stage for the first time. The crowd helped – there was an insane pit with some fist-fights. This wasn’t a safe, punk-by-numbers show at all. How this misfit combo has pulled this off is a mystery, but it has.