Ten years ago this Sunday, Fugazi took the stage at the London Forum and performed at the Kentish Town venue for the third night in a row. Shortly after, they announced an “indefinite hiatus”. November 4, 2002, would be the band’s last ever show.
You can mark the occasion by listening to the entire 100-minute performance on YouTube.
“We are Fugazi from Washington D.C.,” Ian MacKaye begins, cheerily recommending a local Italian restaurant where the band had eaten as “very charming.” “How many of these songs can we play tonight that we haven’t played over the past two nights?”
The band then launched into a blistering, career-spanning set that ranges from “Waiting Room” and “Margin Walker” to about half of 2001’s stunning The Argument, whose more atmospheric fare sounds invigorated by the quartet’s razor-sharp live energy. True to promise, they rewarded fans who had come to all three shows with material absent from the first two sets. True to character, tickets were sold at eight pounds.
If any band from the ’90s American indie underground is missed today, it’s Fugazi. Ten years later, the band’s uncompromising business practices, storied anti-violent concert etiquette, and unique humor lives on — with Dischord Recods, with The Evens, with Guy Picciotto’s various projects. But their music, with its fierce meld of post-hardcore influences and boundless integrity, is sorely missed.
Interestingly, the band’s final performance includes much material from 1990’s Repeater. Between “Waiting Room” and The Argument, repeating themselves is the one thing Fugazi refused to do.