Last Friday, I took the short journey from my house, down Mission, and over to 11th street to the legendary DNA Lounge to see the equally legendary local heroes Swingin’ Utters perform to friends, family, and fans alike. DNA is one of those no-frills venues, and was perfect for the sound of the night, with punk and grit in the air, but just enough of the melodic and catch to get you dancing and singing along.
In normal fashion, I missed the majority openers One Less Zero‘s set, which features Sara Wright on vocals (wife of Green Day drummer Tre Cool) and plays a classic punk sound reminiscent of a slightly softer Vice Squad with a pronounced West Coast tinge. You can have a listen to some of their tracks here.
Next up was San Diego’s female-fronted Bombpops, and a great follow-up to One Less Zero. Don’t let the pretty faces fool you here, these girls are tough as nails, and they rip through their set with a great balance of ripping guitar and bass, driving drums, and lyrics that make you think, but not too hard.
For me, the highlight of the show was Success‘ set. It was my first time seeing the Washington quintet, and they embody everything I love about punk. Rough around the edges, political, emotional, catchy at times, with the perfect amount of breaks, jumps, and woahs. At one point during the set, an incredibly inebriated fan fell and knocked his head on the bottom of the stage, and as fellow fans came to his aide the oaf-like drunk began swinging on his helpers until frontman Aaron Peters jumped off stage to help the fans and calm things down while security arrived and secured the scene. Rev was back on stage to the round of applause from the house, excited to pick up where we left off. Class act from a great band. The set ended with a sing-along of “Where Is The Revolution”, getting the venue nice and warm and energetic for headliners Swingin’ Utters.
I am lucky enough to be able to live in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area (SF proper to be exact), and am afforded so many opportunities to see so many incredible bands. Among these is Swingin’ Utters, who always rock the house and leave the crowd yearning for more. I most recently saw the band at the Fat Wreck 25th shows back in late August, so I was ripe for another Utters show. The set seemed to focus on some of the band’s faster, ‘rougher’ songs, one of which is “Five Lessons Learned”, which I can never not throw my hands in the air and get those legs moving. The rest of the night was filled with dancing, singing along, and getting rowdy – thanks to the help of some trusty friends to watch the camera gear. The show seemed to end way too soon, and as the venue emptied out, there was a feeling that the energy may spill out onto the streets…and it did.
Have a look at the night’s photos below.
Big thanks to Barry, Doc, Chelsea and Steph, and all the local friends that continue to make shows so incredible.
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