I mention this indiscrepancy not because I'm anal retentive about dates (after all, I do agree 10 years sounds better and is more dramatic) but because, yikes, I was at that show and I'd like to feel a little less old, even if it is only a matter of months!
Previous to their last TC appearance (5/21/00), I had learned of the Dwarves infamous live shows from perusing various zines whilst manning the cash register at a suburban newsstand. Kerrang!, a Brit mag that reported mostly about Nu Metal, for some reason ran a story about the short-lived but legendary, debaucherous, violent, drunkfest that was the Dwarves/Zeke/Murder City Devils tour. Rumor (since proven to be untrue) was that it ended with each band claiming they'd never play shows with the other two again. There was also the story told by Davis Presley, a fellow employee of said newsstand about the riotous events that took place at (the soon to be bulldozed) Uptown Bar.
At first thought, the show 9+ years ago seemed like an odd match up for the Dwarves-playing after The Distillers and before Bouncing Souls and Dropkick Murphys. Once they took the stage though, you realized it was the perfect setting for the confrontational style of the Dwarves. This was back in the early days of the Dropkicks, when they still brought in a lot of skinheads; like real, old-school skinheads. And there were skins aplenty in the house that night. Lead singer Blag "the Ripper" Dahlia, immediately went after them, challenging all skinheads to the front. "Come on skins, let's see some violence. I thought you guys like to fight." What made it even better was that the venue (First Avenue) was big enough that you could place yourself a bit further from an unwanted broken nose or cracked skull. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at) not much happened, as most of the crowd barely paid the Dwarves any attention that night.
I figured it would be a bit different on Saturday, as the venue is smaller (Triple Rock), thus providing less places to hide, and that most of the people in attendance would be wanting specifically to witness a spectacle. Aside from the curious absence of the formerly deceased, scantly clad, luchador known as HeWhoCannotBeNamed and a total lack of violence all-together, there really wasn't much to be disappointed about. Add a touch of grey and subtract two fingerless gloves and Blag looks the same as he did just shy of a decade ago. At one point he made an outrageous, somewhat antagonizing claim, stating "We are thee last punk band." (Being a fan of outrageous, somewhat antagonizing claims [King of Punk anyone?], I loved it.) Shortly afterwards he put on an audience member's glasses and looked just like Milo. I was hoping they would bust into an unplanned cover of I'm Not A Loser.
Instead they played a wide range of their own tunes, picked from their vast catalog of music. What I really like about the Dwarves, and what I had to remind myself on this evening when I realized nobody was going to get a black eye, was that they don't really care about doing what they should be doing. Good shit and smiles all around the room. Worth a 10 year wait? Ask me in 8 months and 16 days.
Update* Check out Davis...Not Elvis.