Local openers Abstain rounded out a rowdy night at the legendary San Diego DIY venue
A show at the Che Café is always a gritty affair. The building is truly a hole in the wall. Cavernous, ramshackle, hot, and completely lacking in ventilation, with rickety ceiling cross beams that induce sheer anxiety anytime some audience member jumps up and hangs from them. The air inside just feels thicker. There’s a sweaty rough-and-tumble vibe that hovers over you the second you walk in. And yet, for over 40 years, it’s a been great source of pride for San Diego music fans who live the DIY scene. It’s our DIY venue.
There was no better display of that sort of scrappy, rowdy spirit than the sold-out Mindforce, Take Offense, BIG BOY, and Abstain show that went down at the Ché earlier this month.
Local openers Abstain set the tone nicely with 15 minutes of loosey-goosey straight-edge hardcore that got all the young punks moving. Next up, San Jose up-and-comers BIG BOY demonstrated why they’re one of the best rising acts in the scene, as they laid their beatdown Real Bay Shit! vibes on full display to a mangle of bodies surfing their way around the crowd from start-to-finish. Later on, Chula Vista’s Take Offense – the veteran hardcore staples and hometown heroes – played a raucous homecoming set that dialed up the explosive riffage and pummeling rhythms, causing most people to retreat to the sides as crowd-killers filled the floor space up front.
Finally, Mindforce – the band everyone came out to see – closed things out in spectacularly gnarly fashion. Right away, the band’s calculated style of crossover thrash inspired a sea of chaos in the tiny venue. Singer Jay Peta hung upside down from said rickety ceiling beams as fans moshed, elbowed, and windmill-punched their way into deadly oblivion. It’s no wonder the NYC band is one of the most talked about acts in heavy music these days.
You can scroll below for all the carnage and highlights.