Say what you will about the legendary Descendents — I will never argue their awesomeness — but ALL is the version of the Descendents I grew up with. From the moment I first heard “Original Me” on Breaking Things, I knew ALL was going to be one of my favorite bands and Chad Price was going to be one of my heroes. I was very lucky to catch ALL on a number of tours starting with their Irving Plaza show on May 25, 1995 supporting Pummel and I never saw them play a weak set.
While I was stoked when the Descendents reunited, I kind of missed the magic that happened every time ALL busted out a surprise song off Milo Goes to College in a club maxed out with maybe 50 kids. It was the same sensation seeing Frank Black perform Pixies songs before that band got back together.
This set, taped at Maxwell’s in August 2002 by the great Josh Goldfarb, is my absolute favorite ALL show. The energy in that room was explosive and the crowd was salivating for new and old ALL songs. Even though it’s a rather abridged one-hour set, they hit all their great songs and come back with a brilliant encore featuring different members of the band swapping out instruments, covering their heroes and some amazing crowd interaction by bassist Karl Alvarez. After the show, Karl spent close to an hour with us just shooting the shit and getting autographs for me from the rest of his bandmates. I wish I had had a tape recorder on me, but the memories are just as good without it. I’ll try to dig up my interview with him from their Roseland Ballroom set and publish that soon. In the meantime, enjoy the show and feel free to leave a comment below or discuss the set on YouTube.