For nearly 40 years, Portland's Poison Idea has made an indelible mark on punk and hardcore. Now, they're embarking on their last tour—again.
The band's show at Dante's on Sept. 20, part of Northwest Hesh Fest, was billed as the band's final hometown gig, bringing an end to four decades of profane nihilism and top-notch hardcore music. The band has gone through more than 20 members and already disbanded twice, but frontman Jerry A has always surrounded himself with top-notch players, ensuring live shows that have remained potent and furious.
If this latest disbanding is truly to be permanent, Poison Idea went out in properly raging style. By the second song, the crowd resembled a writhing mass of denim and black leather, while audience members launched themselves from the stage into the mosh pit below. At one point, Jerry A responded to the empty PBR cans that were thrown onstage by whipping a lime wedge from his drink into the crowd, only to see it caught by a fan who chucked it right back at the laughing singer.
Dead Moon's Toody Cole, the evening's keynote speaker, imbued the night with bittersweet nostalgia, as if the show doubled as a Viking funeral not just for Poison Idea but for punkish Old Portland as a whole. Time changes cities, breaks up bands and will eventually claim us all, but last Friday, Poison Idea communed with their people in their hometown for one last raucous, celebratory middle finger that proved the band, against all odds, is timeless.