The second of two shows celebrating the upcoming documentary “Salad Days: The HarDCore Punk Revolution,” Saturday night’s triple-bill at the Black Cat could have easily succeeded as a nostalgic exercise. There was a tinge of sentimentality in the air, including a wistful appearance by H.R. from the seminal Bad Brains. But sets from Youth Brigade, Government Issue and Scream functioned as a reminder of just how powerful the District’s punk rock scene was in the early 1980s.
Two of Government Issue’s longest-standing members — singer and leader John Stabb and bassist/guitarist Tom Lyle — were augmented by guitarist Brian Baker (in the band from late 1981 to mid-1982) and drummer Colin Sears. The quartet delivered a lively, hard-charging set. Stabb was inimitable as ever: half self-depreciating jokester, half snotty punk (no small trick for someone north of 50). Baker was stellar on guitar, delivering the clawing riffs of “No Way Out,” “Hall of Fame” and “Bored to Death” as if Ronald Reagan were still in office.