Thursday, March 24, 2011

Peter Amdam on For Pete's Sake and Youth Of Today in Oslo, Norway

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Daniel, Espen and Peter with For Pete's Sake, Photo: Ane PMA

Ian MacKaye of Embrace once mocked the word and concept "emocore", suggesting it was a stupid pleonasm of sorts, as hardcore is emotional music to begin with. While I wholeheartedly agree with MacKaye I feel there's room to differentiate––meaning there are experiences of hardcore that can be more emotional than others, and indeed, some of these experiences of hardcore are more than just experiences. They can, because of their sheer emotionality, probably be dubbed events in the philosophical sense of the word. They open up possible futures. One such event was undoubtedly Youth of Today's 1989 European tour as it touched and impacted so many people's lives. Including mine. The seminal high energy hardcore act from New York City played Oslo a cold winter's night of February the year 1989.


Where am I getting with this? Let me paraphrase my own introduction to a song we, that is the band For Pete's Sake, played last Friday: "22 years ago I went to see a band play in this city, at a place called Blitz. That band was YOUTH OF TODAY and that event, and that band changed my life. Then; 12 years ago, a band called Better Than A Thousand featuring the singer from Youth of Today, was playing in this city and this band here, we used to be called Sportswear, were supposed to play, and tour, together with Better Than A Thousand. But a lot of bad things happened and Sportswear never played. Not until tonight. So, I have been waiting 12 years to say the words I'm saying now and this next song goes out to a very special person and a very dear friend. 12 years ago him and me wrote the lyrics to this song walking around the streets of New York City. This person is Ray Cappo from Youth of Today and this song goes out to him because he changed my life. This song goes out to Youth of Today because they changed my life. And this song goes out to the people standing on stage here with me, For Pete's Sake, because these guys changed my life. This song is called 'The Power To Change'!"

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Peter and the Oslo crowd, Photo: Ane PMA

Needless to say this show was an emotional experience of enormous proportions to me. One thing was meeting what I would dare call a brother band of sorts, haven't seen Ray in at least 6 or 7 years, but it felt as if not a day had passed, not a beat skipped. And that was just how it felt watching Youth of Today play as well. The energy was relentless, sincere, uplifting, and something you could feel in your very soul. And I was so nervous as to how people would react to For Pete's Sake. 12 years after Sportswear broke up, in a bad way, all us guys were back on the stage together, and it really felt nothing like a nostalgia trip at all. But it felt as if this was more important now than ever. That very sense of urgency and hope is something we try to put across in a new song called "This Time", and the lyrics go "This Time – with so many regrets, This Time - don't know what to expect... This Time. Right Here. Right Now..."... The club exploded during our set and it almost brought me to tears. I could see old friends from all over Scandinavia and beyond stage diving, singing along, and smiling. New friends. Cappo stage diving. High fives from Porcell, Vinny Panza and Ken Olden. Were they feeling it? Was the amazing opening act from Sweden, HÃ¥rda Tider, feeling it? Was the crowd feeling it? Was there a special feeling in the air? I looked around me and saw what felt like a permanently breaking wave of kids washing over the stage, singing along to lyrics that still are so dear and important to me. We have the strength to stand against and to stand apart. It was probably the strongest hardcore experience in my entire life. Wait. It was.

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Ken and Ray with Youth Of Today in Oslo, Photo: Ane PMA

Then Youth of Today got on stage and the air was electric. I have always, through all these years, stated that Youth of Today is my all time favorite band, and it has probably gotten to the point that it can be a mechanical thing to say, almost like introducing yourself. "My name is Pete and I am a Youth of Today fan". But the sheer energy, sincerity, physicality, spiritual power, and, yes, urgency, of the 2011 Youth of Today grabbed me, and I think just about everybody else in the room, by the soul. Seeing Cappo kneeling down during "Choose To Be", reiterating the word "misery" and then emphatically stating that that's not the way he "choose to be" brought an unforgettable, old quote to my mind. The 17th century philosopher Nicolas Malebranche once wrote that "attentiveness is the natural prayer of the soul" and I was convinced that the same could be said about hardcore, given the right time, the right assembly, and the right circumstance. When hardcore is the way it was on a night like this––it simultaneously creates and demands a very special kind of attentiveness, and is indeed a natural prayer of the soul. And this was the time. The place. Cappo introduces "A Time We'll Remember" and he says it's not about living in the past. Or in the future. But right here. Right now. It is the now of the future, if you ask me.

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Ray and Porcell, Oslo Norway, Photo: Ane PMA

This was a hardcore event. I will feel its reverberations well into futurity.

The Youth of Today wanted me to do a song together with them and before the show we practiced New York Crew by Judge together. When I got up on stage and sung that song with Youth of Today I was 17 again and I realized that hardcore will indeed keep me young until I die.

Thank you everybody that came through, and I will see you soon. - Peter Amdam


For Pete's Sake (ex Sportswear) - Searching / It Runs Deep from Ola Waagen on Vimeo.



Youth of Today Live in Oslo from Ola Waagen on Vimeo.

40 comments:

outofstepsince81 said...

Oslo once again proves to be the place for hardcore in Europe at the moment.

BakkEMO said...

Well written!

breadman said...

Peter Amdam has such a way with the english lanuage. I have always been a fan of his writting. wish I could have gone to this show. i fucking love sportswear.

Anonymous said...

didnt know that Amdam was a memeber of New York Crew

Anonymous said...

we are all members of the New York Crew!

Adamski said...

I found that piece rather crigeworthy, if I'm being honest. You like YOT? Whoopeedoo. They're a hardcore band, not some sort of deity!

Anonymous said...

YOT=GOD

xyx said...

As one of the "kids" (well, I was one of the kids during a bunch of Sportswear shows in the 90's) I can tell you Peter that I, and probably the rest of us there, shared the emotions!

This is where I belong - IT RUNS DEEP

Anonymous said...

Geez, man. Get a hold of yourself.

Anonymous said...

sportwear? basketballwear or rugbywear or baseballwear or footballwear or golfwear or pingpongwear. sportwear this is a lame name for a "hardcore" band, you're a bunch of fashionites!!!!.

Anonymous said...

and sorry guys but norway's not new york, and it'll never be. and oslo's ain't got the best scene in europe, there's a lot better scenes. sportwear? c'mon i didn't know the "new kids on the block" were hardcore.

Anonymous said...

i love youth of today and even like sportswear and this for pete's sake business.....but this is too over the top. i hate to say this, but is anyone in "for pete's sake" even straight edge now?

Anonymous said...

Give it a break. Noone ever said that Oslo was New York and nothing about it being the "best scene in Europe", whatever that is. Peter's moving to NYC and hence did the vocals with his friends in YOT.

This was an awesome show full of positive emotions, that is all.

Anonymous said...

Haters gonna hate...

Anonymous said...

Alligators gonna alligate.

Anonymous said...

Suckers gonna...

Anonymous said...

Americans gonna laugh...

Darren Pesce said...

the sheer energy, sincerity, physicality, spiritual power, and, yes, urgency, of the 2011 Youth of Today grabbed me, and I think just about everybody else in the room, by the soul.

Anonymous may be right:
Geez, man. Get a hold of yourself.

scumwear said...

is darren pesce livin' in oslo?, the kid with the n.a. shirt is called harley flanagan, and the other near him is called jimmy gestapo, and the other behind vinnie stigma, yeah they really think they're the new york crew. (well, a clean cut new york crew version).

Yehuda said...

this piece makes hardcore almost look like a cult with Ray Cappo as Amdam's personal Jesus...well, whatever makes you happy..

...sportswear ("arrogant straight-edge") were talented musicians and I still enjoy their records a lot. Had they been Americans, they probably would have been huge...

I would like to thank:
Nike, Champion, Ralph Lauren, Coca Cola, Tommy Hilfiger...

Anonymous said...

is espen doing ok these days? he looks like he´s lost 20 kilos!

Anonymous said...

....and so what
world is in vortex and they jumping on stage as kids on the beach.Grow up and face the reality.You in your little world without windows.This music/culture was created to keep U shut.

Anonymous said...

Amdam has disgraced the band Sportswear. He broke the edge like a little whore and now he sings these songs again? Even Espen is okay with that?! Sportswear - arrogant straight edge, well... He's spitting in your faces like Cappo does. I'm not buying this bullshit.

Anonymous said...

LOL. ^^^

Capponian said...

@Anonymous who talks about "disgracing"

Cappo so said it was OK - so FPS played. I am a Cappo-ist, a Cappo-follower. Proud of it too...

PS: good job you weren't at the show - you would have been spat at

MIFP said...

"Telling stories about who is sincere - but you, you were never there"

Adamski said...

The guy obviously had some kinda religious experience at this gig. Fair enough, but his writing reeks of hero worship, which I hate to see in punks. Maybe I'm just an old, cynical fucker, but I can live with that.

Anonymous said...

arrogant fake-edge

I would like to thank:
Nike, Champion, Ralph Lauren, Coca Cola, Tommy Hilfiger, Martini, French Champagne, Carlsberg and Vodka Redbull.

sure... said...

FPS would also like to thank their:
Stockbrokers, Asset Managers, Yacht Marinas, Real Estate brokers, and tax advisors

Kid with the N.A. shirt, aka. Harley Flanagan. said...

1. They didn't play any of their straight edge songs. I strongly suggest that haters read the interview with Amdam in the Voice of a generation fanzine # 2 that came out a few years ago. He explains the term "arrogant straight edge" and also talks about how and why he broke edge.

2. Espen is doing good, he just went vegan and works out a lot.

3. Great show, their new song rules.

Anonymous said...

hahaha!!, now he really believe he's harley.

ShayKM said...

"I will feel its reverberations well into futurity."

I wish my wife said this more often!

This might be the worst contribution to any HC site I have seen in years. Go see YOT, play with them, have fun, and sing their praises as well. But please, please, spare us the tearful, sappy, locker-room adulation. And starting with a reference to Ian? Shame, shame, shame...

Happy to see that you have changed the band name. Used to be the butt of many jokes. Only problem is that 'For Pete's Sake' is intended as a rebuttal to someone saying/doing something daft. Do you get it?

Gonna go listen to some 'Colt Turkey' or 'Manliftingbanner' and recall when Euro-HC had some substance!

Anonymous said...

You do that.

Anonymous said...

ManLiftingBanner??
Effin' commies. Outright Leninists..."Do you get it?"

ShayKM said...

Oh yes, Joe McCarthy... I get it.

If Lenin had sounded as good as MLB
maybe things would have turned out differently.

Have any negative comments about Colt Turkey?

Anonymous said...

ShayKM
No you didn't get it - as I suspected you wouldn't

Colt Turkey: Dutch PX - poormans version

ShayKM said...

Dutch PX???

You need to listen again!
Start with 'Pusher Season' and move in either direction.

Best STRAIGHT EDGE song ever written in Europe!

Makes 'fake-edge' bands like sportswear look like Wham.

I have an extra ep around if you didn't get it when it came out!

Of course... you probably weren't around then...

Still Edge 'anonymous'? Next time use your 'effing' name!

Anonymous said...

Shay,

SW/FPS guys and MLB/CT guys were friends back then, and still are.

Hate on FPS if that makes you happy.

But as the Colt Trurkey would say: Don't be a revisionist!

And the Colt Turkey made any straight edge band, PX included, look like Wham.

AH said...

Guys - Jules is being interviewed here on DCXX. Move along...

Thanks to both the haters and the praisers - you have no idea.

Arne O. Haabeth
FPS/SW

PS: ShayKM - looking forward to meeting you one day, all the best

Anonymous said...

In Poland for an instance most straight edge guys are pro left-wing communist. Don't even knows about it.They support PO/SLD party coalition with its members back in when them fathers and uncles were Soviet slaves.The Solidarity movement was betrayed and its goals were killed.What You know its pure lie.I remember when its started I mean punk rock and stuff when all those people who supports communists now were fighting against it.What the fuck is going on with these people.They on national TV now.Fat liars.I'm not supporting any Bolshevik ideas.So I do listen NOTHING.