Young Punk met Old Punk at the Ontario Theater last night as The Clash and Bo Diddley tore the sold-out house apart with two generations of rock 'n' roll.
The Clash are latest sensations in the world of punk, that riotously ridiculous form of music that refuses to die. Like all self-respecting musicians of their sort, their music was a droning mass of power chords, static rhythms and off-key ranting that was propelled by sheer energy and not much else.
Stumbling across the stage, dressed in tight black pants and greased-back hair, they were like visions from an earlier age of rock 'n' roll. What their set lacked in musicality, it more than made up for with excitement, but after awhile even too much excitement becomes a bore.
While Bo Diddley isn't exactly a punk himself, his music was a prototype for that style. The block-like chords and pounding beats of his classic songs had the crowd on its feet, yelling, "Hey Bo Diddley," along with the chorus. Dancing and strutting about, with his famous box-guitar, Diddley sang with a sense of freshness that has withstood a quarter-century of rock history.
Punk rock should be so lucky in its old age.