Music by VICE

Why I’ll Always Be Indebted to My Local Youth Centre

Watching Fugazi perform in a suburban all-ages venue changed my life.

by Noisey Staff
29 March 2016, 3:02am

JD Future Legends & Noisey present THE NEXT ON TOUR series of summer gigs. The final show of the series is this Friday April 1 in Manly @Moonshine at the Hotel Steyne, featuring Hierophants + The Rangoons + Tim & The Boys. Entry is free but you need to RSVP now!

On a November evening in 1993 I experienced a life changing moment in my already young life. It was inside an 85-year old Mechanic's Institute building and I was surrounded by 750 teenagers in long sleeved t-shirts, undercut hairstyles and baggy jeans.

For a $12 door ticket, I was about to see my punk rock heroes up close in a small all-ages space called EV’s in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. When Washington DC punk legends Fugazi took the small stage, I had a musical epiphany.

I remember the night well. My Mum dropped my friend and I off at the Croydon venue early in the evening and after watching local supports Spiderbait, Noise Addicts and Aqaunuggets there was a real excitement when Ian, Guy, Joe and Brendan took the stage.

They started with a short intro before breaking into “Facet Squared”, the opening track of their third album In on the Kill Taker, that had been released earlier that year. As the staccato guitar and rumbling bass started the room turned into one surge of bowl cuts nodding in sync. When Ian MacKaye ripped a guitar solo and growled, “pride no longer has definition, everybody wears it, it always fits,” the room erupted.

The rest of the set (that you can listen to as part of the Fugazi Live Series) was just as mind blowing.

The band were touring Japan, Australia and New Zealand and as part of their strict all-ages approach to live performing most of the shows took place in public halls, schools and cultural centres.

If you were a teenager from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs during the ‘90s, EV's (pronounced "Ee-Veez") was underage rock heaven. It still is. Back then bands such as You Am I, Magic Dirt and a whole punk scene that included Cretin’s Puddle, Root Beer, Caustic Soda and Bodyjar would regularly play the venue that was (and is) run by the local government youth service.

As I grew older and reached the drinking age I headed to the venues in the city to see bands. But back then, as a youngster growing up in mundane suburbia I will always remember that youth centre and especially that warm November night all those years ago.

This article is presented in partnership with JD Future Legends.

Drink Responsibly.

Ian MacKaye
all ages
The Rangoons