The Chop will admit it. We were late to the party this time. We remember hearing that they were getting up a roller derby league at the Fullerton Skateland and thinking That’s fucking awesome! It’s like a punk rock show on wheels! Unfortunately, that was around the same time we started traveling abroad extensively, and it took us an insanely long time to actually attend a bout.
By the time we did, Fullerton Skateland was in the distant past and the Charm City Roller Girls had moved down to Du Burns Arena and evolved into something that was part punk-rock show, part family fun-fest, part professional sporting event, and part beer league softball tournament, complete with raging afterparty in the Canton bars.
To put it briefly, CCRG is one of the things that makes Baltimore a great city. If you haven’t been out to a bout yet, you’re missing out on the one of the best events in town. You’re also ‘off the bus’ so to speak, because the league has enjoyed tremendous support from the city (the people that is, not city hall), and deservedly so.
In it’s growth, CCRG has managed to pull off one of the most difficult feats for any organization; remaining truly DIY and fiercely independent, yet putting on a production that is 100% professional from start to finish. Being entirely skater-owned and operated requires an enormous commitment of time and a high level of skill and dedication both on and off the track, and these women not only pull it off, they make it look easy.
So we’ve got our tickets for tonight’s bout, and we’re planning on showing up early, cause that place fills up fast. (Word to the wise: get that beer wristband as soon as you walk in, before the line forms.)
We’re a bit late to the party on Vivian Girls too, since the first time we went to see them play was with Fucked Up at the new Talking Head with like 15 other bands. The Chop has no patience anymore for 15 band bills, so we sat at the bar and waited patiently (read: drank heavily) for a long time, not realizing that the show was on 2 stages and we were sitting through the crap end of it. So we missed Vivian Girls entirely.
We were pissed about it too. You know a band is good when their sound is squarely between Sleater-Kinney and the Wipers. Seeing them tonight will go a long way toward making up for what we sat through last time.