Ian MacKaye has compared the process of playing music at a rock club to trying to read poetry at a boxing match. The environment is raucous and sweaty, but not very conducive to an artistic exchange.

As a result, MacKaye (a founding member of Minor Threat and Fugazi) prefers to take his two-piece band, The Evens, to libraries, museums, bakeries, and other unconventional venues. In the case of San Antonio, that meant a November 13 gig at an overflowing Fl!ght Gallery.

Framed by two floor lamps (the only onstage lighting), a seated MacKaye and drummer Amy Farina played at low volumes on their own modest PA system, but stirred up anthemic punk outrage when they wanted to, as when MacKaye prodded the audience into the mid-song chant: “The police will not be excused/ the police will not behave” (preceded by his apology to any law-enforcement officers in the crowd).

Showing an instant understanding of South San Antonio economics, MacKaye heard a train whistle by in the distance and quipped: “They’re racing those Toyota Tundras to the people as we speak.”

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