Twenty years ago, if Refused had played in a record store to 30 people, the only reactions would be of surprise that so many people showed up. According to vocalist Dennis Lyxzen the last time they played a record store, in 1995, (in southern California coincidentally) there were "maybe five people". Last week's last minute performance in a small Silverlake record shop was markedly different.
Late afternoon on Wednesday rumors started circulating throughout social media due to an ambiguous photo of a setlist posted on the band's instagram with the headline "vacation party?". The most devoted showed up without question even before Vacation Vinyl finally confirmed the rumors of an in-store performance. The first 30 or so people received designated numbers guaranteeing them a spot in the store and anyone after that would take the slim chance that someone inside would get bored enough to leave during the much envied set.
Refused ripped through a few tracks from their upcoming album "Freedom", which is their first since 1998's genre defining "The Shape of Punk to Come", and even a couple Black Flag and Fugazi covers. When they finally asked the small group of fans gathered between the two narrow aisles of LPs for a single request the choice seemed unanimously the third track from Shape of Punk, "The Deadly Rhythm". The band even threw in Slayer's Reigning Blood riff in the bridge for some fun reason, prompting at least one guy to crowd surf and the rest of the room to explode like they were watching a band they'd been waiting for their entire lives.