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DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: Bouncing Souls in Santa Ana, CA (3.16.17)

As my username may suggest, the Bouncing Souls are my all-time favorite band. Seeing them live is always an amazing experience, but having the opportunity to shoot the show was a dream come true. After nearly 30 years in the punk scene, the Souls’ set it still infused with energy as if it is the first time they are gracing the stage. With 10 full length albums, there is no shortage of songs to comprise the setlist (anyone else lucky enough to catch the “For All The Unheard” shows back in 2011? The LA ones still rank as some of the best shows I have ever seen!).

The Bouncing Souls’ catalogue includes many anthemic sing-alongs for their hour+ long set, and this night at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA was no exception. New songs were peppered in with all the old favorites, including “Anchors Aweigh,” “Kate Is Great,” “Ghosts on the Boardwalk,” “The Gold Song,” “Sing Along Forever,” “That Song,” “Writing On The Wall,” “Manthem,” and (of course) “Hopeless Romantic.”

I wish I could have seen the opening bands, but unfortunately, the LA to Orange County traffic on a Thursday prevented me from seeing Get Dead (and I walked in at the end of AJJ‘s set). The Souls alone were worth the hours in traffic and I can’t wait until Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas to see them again!

Check out the gallery from the show below.



Festival Review: The 7th Annual Altercation Punk Rock BBQ

Saturday March 18th at Kick Butt Coffee in Austin Texas, Altercation Records delivered another incredible day of punk rock fun at the 7th annual Altercation Punk Rock BBQ.

I have been lucky enough to experience the last 4 years of this event held each year in Austin during the South By Southwest Music Conference, and I have to say it is probably my favorite punk event after PRB, although it in no way compares size wise to major events like PRB or The Fest, the people at Altercation know how to throw a party! First off It’s free admission for all ages, there is free BBQ and free Beer for a limited time, this usually last for the first hour or so, during the first two sets, of which there are usually 10-12 sets of amazing bands, half of which are brand new up and comers, others are gritty road warriors who have been at it for years and usually there is at least one old classic band or figure like Cheetah Chrome, Fishbone, or Sylvain Sylvain…This year there were no classic punk acts, I don’t know maybe they are getting harder to come by? This year the venue also changed from the Vortex to a smaller indoor venue called Kick Butt Coffee, at first I was suspect of a punk show of this size in a coffee house, but Kick Butt Coffee is an actual venue with a stage and a full bar.

The place steadily filled and by the 4th set it was mobbed with the crowd spilling out into the parking lot, first up were The Glory Holes out of Memphis who do an all gay oriented Ramones styled pop punk that is really fun…Second to hit the stage was Heels who are a really awesome duo who are sort of like Lucero on speed…followed by New York City’s Jukebox Romantics who always put out a killer performance and this day was no different than the last few times I have seen them, super high energy take no prisoner punk rock…The next band up was a new one on the Altercation label who’s name it took me a minute to figure out; Dr. Beardfacé And The Spaceman, which if you don’t immediately get it is a hybrid of two television characters, Dr. Beardfacé from Scrubs, and Dr. Spaceman from 30 Rock.This band was new and interesting to me, the front woman Kerrie Trube has a really rich voice which during some songs really stood out, I think we will be hearing more from them in the future as their sound and live performance matures…After that was another new band on the Altercation roster The Split Seconds from Washington DC, this might be my favorite new act of 2017, The Split Seconds are a pop punk/retro punk band who have a fresh new sound yet still pull on my spirit of 77 heart strings, I really liked this set…They were followed by The Hangouts who reunited for this show, I love The Hangouts, I have seen them maybe 4 times and they are always great and I was stoked to see them reunite for this show…Next was Boston’s OC45 who do straight up Boston style punk rock, and they do it very well with lots of fist pumping whoa oh’s…American Pinup returned this year and as always delivered a phenomenal set, I don’t know if there is a better voice in rock & roll than Lauren West? This woman I adore…I felt bad for the next band up having to follow American Pinup but Houston’s Grizzly Band did not disappoint by any means, and truly rose to the occasion with a killer alt country set of their own, This is a band that you just have to see live at least once before you die…Mind Spiders were wow, these guys have a post punk garage rock vibe all their own…Then came From Parts Unknown out of Dallas whos Upright bass fueled set was breakneck and furious…And last in the lineup up was F Woods of Mercury Radio Theater form Philadelphia PA who brought solo guitar quirk to the BBQ which was unsurprising considering his regular touring alongside of The Dead Milkmen.

So there you have it the complete lineup, all in all one of the best shows I have been to, I watched all 12 sets and in all honesty have to say that the Altercation Punk Rock BBQ impressed me once again, not only was every band great, but the mix of genres and the placement in the lineup kept it interesting and kept us in the audience wondering what was next…Hope I can make it to number 8



Show Review: Protex, Paul Collins, Wyldlife, Crazy and the Brains, Posers @ Voltage Lounge 3.11.17

The Voltage Lounge is one of my favorite venues in Philadelphia, simply because they’re known for having top-notch shows. I have wonderful (but fleeting) memories of seeing bands like Leftover Crack and The Virus, both of which I count on my list of some of my favorite shows I’ve ever attended. So naturally I was pretty psyched when I heard about this event featuring a lineup that’s, dare I say, perfect.

I’ll never get tired of seeing Posers play shows. The Philly band has an attitude on stage that is truly addictive to watch. Singer Jade Anna appears to be deeply distressed, peering off into the distance as she delivers a mighty vocal performance. But just as often, she can be seen in the audience, microphone in clenched fists, shouting and writhing on the ground. Meanwhile, guitarist Rory Cain, bassist Johnny Mick, and drummer Collin Russert are keeping everything under control with an impressive confidence and sense of urgency as they power through a mixed set list of old, recent, and not-yet-released tracks. One of these new tracks, apparently called “I Think Therefore I Am A Mess,” is an aggressive attack from start to finish, featuring some pretty hostile screaming from Anna and frantic guitar and bass work. Whatever direction this band is going in, I like it. I’m in for the ride.

Next up was Crazy and the Brains. This band knows how to get a crowd moving, dancing, jumping: who cares. They also have a xylophone player and he performs with such gusto that it’s something that everyone should see. One of the most enjoyable tracks to hear live was “Good Boy” which was quickly followed by “Brain Freeze.” Singer Christoph Urban rocked his signature gold chain along with a pair of suspenders that he only wore half-way, his energetic movements causing them to slip. Jeffrey Rubin is prone to breaking sticks for his xylophone and glockenspiel, so he can be seen throwing them erratically into the audience.

Wyldlife was absolutely phenomenal. The band takes influence from garage rock, indie rock, power pop, and punk to make for a sound that is almost guaranteed to get you bouncing around. They also ooze a classic New York coolness, all clad in leather jackets, some in polka dot shirts, and hair all in disarray. Frontman Dave Feldman crashes around the stage in a way that makes me imagine a scenario where Pete Doherty starts a punk band (which would be great). Their energy is all fun and games, often playful. Tracks like “Saturday Night” and “First Time’s the Worst” had the crowd bouncing against each other like mad atoms. Drummer Stevie Dios is manic in his playing and full of aggression, but he’s also graceful in his speed- I haven’t seen a drummer play so well in a long time. I can’t wait for Wyldlife to come back to Philly. They play an unforgettable show.

Next up was Paul Collins, best known for his work with The Nerves, The Beat, and The Breakaways. This was just him with his guitar, and that was all he needed. Each track seamlessly flowed into the next. “Stand Back” was one of the most fun tracks of the night, delivering a healthy dose of power pop that had crowd members rocking into each other all the way through to one of the last tracks, “Don’t.” Finishing off with “Walking,” everyone at the front of the stage was singing along wholeheartedly as Collins sang back at them with an equal amount of energy. His solo tour is something you should check out if he’s coming to a town near you.

Finally, Protex took the stage, the Northern Ireland band’s first time playing in Philadelphia in over 30 years. The 1st wave punk band is easy to love, and their performance is just as catchy. This second generation of Protex managed to bang through thirteen songs in quick time and they’re no spring chickens – they know these songs like they were born to. “Strange Obsessions” was an absolute blast to hear live and sent most of the crowd into frenzy. Aidan Murtagh is an absolutely wonderful frontman and has great energy on stage, not once faltering in his vocal delivery throughout.

This was such a great mix of old and new in the world of power pop punk brought together in one fantastic night. To all the bands that played, I thank you.



Show Review: Ceschi Ramos (a punk’s perspective at a hip-hop show)

As a punk rocker, I’m constantly going to shows, but not usually ones like this. I was attracted to this show by Ceschi. His recent split with Pat The Bunny really got me curious to hear and know more about his style of music.
I was originally planning to catch Ceschi in Berkeley at the Gilman, but when I saw he was going to be in Fresno on a Saturday, I decided that would likely work out better for me and I have absolutely no regrets about this decision. The venue was The Honeycomb and there were aspects of this place you could never achieve at the Gilman. Upon entering, you’re basically in an art gallery with artists actively working on paintings. Everyone I came in contact with was very welcoming and friendly, especially the performers.

The first performer was A.Hymnz (or ArTcher Hymnz). (Keep in mind, I don’t actively listen to these styles of music, so I just interpret things as I hear them.) This guy’s style really reminded me of an underground hip-hop artist. I want to say he somewhat reminded me of Atmosphere and I’m sure there are better examples out there. I didn’t know the words to his songs, but as I heard them, I could tell lyrics meant something to him and his songs flowed together really well.
Check out his music on bandcamp.

The second artist to take the stage goes by the name of Flued One. This guy gave me a much more mainstream feel, and not in a bad way. Some might hear mainstream and instantly think “sellout”, but maybe that’s more the case with punk music. Regardless Flued One put on a great show and performance. You could tell he was comfortable on stage and in front of a crowd.

Both A.Hymnz and Flued One were rappers, but each offering their own unique style. Because of this, there wasn’t a lot of down time between their performances since they mostly just had to get the right beats set up and pass the mic. This didn’t seem to effect the crowd or the show in any negative way and might have even made it better since the night was just getting started.

The third performer was a man by the name of Bobby Loveless. The first thing I noticed was he was very lyrical and much like Flued One he had a very comfortable stage presence. His vocals were a lot more raw than I was expecting, so with me being into punk, I really enjoyed the rawness of his set. He even screamed in one song and I loved it. Also, all of his songs flowed very well from song to song. His voice had a perfect level of raspyness to make it sound amazing.
Check him out here.

The fourth performer was Ersatz Splynter. This has a great flow. For the most part, he’s a very fast rapper. The crowd was loving it. One song he even rapped a verse in spanish. He didn’t seem new to performing and put on a great performance. I got a chance to talk to him after the show and much like everyone else I talked to, he was very humble. I really wish I had more to say about this guy as I genuinley enjoyed his performance.
Check him out here  – There will be links to a few other of his videos as well and I’m sure if you YouTube him, you’ll find him.

The fifth artist to perform is known as Sahab. The first thing you’ll notice about him is that he’s got a lot of equipment. I don’t know much about being a DJ, but I would say this was very DJ-ish (pardon me if that is way off). He made all of his beats himself on the spot and had several sound clips. I think he only actually sang on one song. He reminded me of Reggie Watts, but not comedic. Also, before his performance they turned all the lighting effects on, so it really gave that EDM or dance style party music effect. I could picture this being played at a club or something of the like. He did experience a technical difficulty at one point, but I don’t believe it was his fault and it hardly took away from the performance, he got it back up quick and got right back to it.

Tommy V was the sixth artist to perform. The first thing I noticed about him was how lyrical they can be. By the looks of him, you probably wouldn’t expect the performance he puts on. This guy really killed it in front of a stage. The crowd knew the lyrics to one song better than him, which I thought was pretty special. He just forgot a little part of a song but the crowd surly did not. He made a comment about how “you guys know this better than me”. Not really the type of thing you see at every show, so I really appreciated this. Tommy V is from Montana and the only other musician to have merch other than Ceschi, of which I purchased. The second song he played guitar and sang a more folkish song about being too high which was all too appropriate for this event. He might of made a couple mistakes on the guitar, but he wasn’t doing simple chords either. Towards the end he played another guitar song that was a little slower. The mistakes or whatever you would call them only added to the performance and to me, made the whole performance better. I could probably talk about this guy for a while. He had such a versatile style. The third song had yodeling going on with the crowd’s help. He’s constantly switching styles. He raps. He sings slower songs that are easy to sing along with. He’s really got a lot to bring to the table when you really take a chance to appreciate it. The crowd got into his set so naturally. He had a rap/rock song with yodeling. What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, Ceschi got on stage and sang a song with him but Ceschi forgot a part, so you can’t really blame Tommy V for that.

Check out Tommy V’s here.

Ceschi. Who the great majority of the crowd was there to see, finally takes the stage. I was excited as he was the only artist that had songs I had even heard before. After all, I was planning on catching Ceschi in at the Gilman in Berkeley with completely different supporting acts.

Instantly, very active. He moves around a lot and really got the energy flowing. The crowd is completely in love with him, nearly singing along to every song, word for word. It didn’t take long to tell he’s not new to performing in front of a crowd. I had the luck of actually meeting and having conversations with him throughout the night. Such a humble guy. The venue didn’t really have any seating besides a couch that almost felt like reserved seating, even though I don’t think it was. The only seat was right next to Tommy V and Ceschi’s merch. As a result of this, people automatically assumed I was working merch, so I did. I made a few sales and as soon as I would see him again, I would give him the money and tell him what he sold. He told me I didn’t have to do that for him, but it was almost an honor in a way to get to know him the way I did.

(From memory, which isn’t all that great) I believe his first song was a rap style song but almost instantly he picked up a guitar and started playing a new song. He then put the guitar down and went right back to rapping. It was great how he mashed up his performance so well. It just flowed great. The energy was amazing. Much like Tommy V, Ceschi has a very versatile style, you can’t help but be entertained. He did a mini speech about how the government is fucked just before going into a song with guitar, and sang at a normal pace. This got the whole crowd chanting along the lyrics but the next song was a much faster, more upbeat rap song, and he still had a lot singing along with him. Ceschi’s songs are very lyrical and often times have a deep meaning.

In the middle of the set, he decided to take everyone outside for a few acoustic songs. How much more raw can you get? It was so cold outside, you could see his breath as he was singing the songs. He had taken his sweater off inside, so he’s out here in a t-shirt. After about 3 songs, he took us back inside to finish up with some rap songs. He got off the stage and just stood in the crowd. The intimacy of Ceschi’s performance was unreal. The show was finished with him getting down to his knees in the middle of the crowd for the last song of which ended fully acoustic with no mic.

And throughout the night I would see Ceschi selling his merch for whatever people would offer, often taking less than the minimum he was asking. Of course some paid the full price, the higher of the two options. One kid even paid in some foreign currency of which is likely worth much less than if it were just an actual 5 dollar bill. By the very end of the night, he was giving things out. He was giving away tank tops, as he mostly only had odd sizes left. He had a few t-shirts. He gave me one that’s much too small, but I’m a punk, so cutting something out and sewing it onto something else isn’t anything new to me.

Be sure to check out Ceschi at his bandcamp.

“EVERYTHING SOUNDS BETTER WHEN YOU’RE DEAD”

Every performer will receive at least one like on all social media, from me, they all deserved it.



DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: The Vandals 2016 Christmas Formal in Anaheim, CA (12.23.16)

Ah, it’s December again. Here in Southern California, December means twinkle lights in the palm trees, 60 degree weather, and the certainty of one major holiday tradition – The Vandals‘ Christmas Formal. Now in its 21st year, the Christmas Formal has become a bigger and better tradition every year, with both “formal”wear and Christmas onesies encouraged, a photo booth, and a “Christmas punch” at the bar (which sadly sold out within the first hour). 2016 marked a venue change – to the City National Grove of Anaheim. Personally, I loved the new setup – bigger venue, bigger stage, more room to move around, and a more spacious bar/merch/photo booth area. The Christmas decorations still adorned the stage, including the suspended carousel, inflatable snowman, and mountains of wrapped presents and piñatas.

Openers for the evening included Sharp/Shock and The Interrupters. Due to LA traffic, made 10 times worst by the constant rain all day Friday, I arrived during The Interrupters set in time to see them play, but not early enough to shoot them. They are a DyingScene favorite, and you can check out shots from some previous shows here and here.

At last, The Vandals (with Josh Freese on drums this year!) took the stage to the Oi To The World overture and kicked it into high gear for all of their Christmas classics. Despite battling the flu (and still wearing his tuxedo t-shirt that makes an appearance every year), Dave Quackenbush still managed to make it on the stage and give the crowd one hell of a show. After they played a majority of the songs from the Christmas album, they entertained the crowd with a few other select favorites, like “Anarchy Burger,” “People That Are Going To Hell,” “I’ve Got An Ape Drape,” “And Now We Dance,” and “My Girlfriend’s Dead.”

Fans who come every year know how the encore will go – Warren will sing “Hang Myself from the Tree” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” before the band finishes with a giant sing-a-long of “Oi To The World.” This year was no different in terms of the encore setlist, but, as always, Warren can be hard to predict when it comes to his stage presence. “Don’t Stop Me Now” tends to have a musical interlude where Warren entertains the crowd – this year, it included destroying all of the gifts on the stage, smashing the piñatas with his body (not the stick that Dave brought him) and throwing the pieces into the crowd, running around with the giant Santa boot piñata on his foot, and pulling the inflatable snowman across the stage, eventually having it collapse in front of Josh Freese’s drum set. The Grove of Anaheim has monitors on the side of the stage, so everyone was able to see the antics in real-time, and it was pretty amazing. This is gonna be the best Christmas ever!

It’s always a pleasure to celebrate Christmas with The Vandals and shoot the show for DyingScene. Check out our full gallery below and we’ll see you in 2017!



Show Review and Photo Gallery: Wake The Bat / Allout Helter / Screwtape / Choking Victim – The Gothic Theatre (Denver) 11.11.2016

Choking Victim

After nearly seventeen years, NYC skacore innovators, Choking Victim have returned for a Reunion Tour in select cities across the US. Since our West Coast staffer, AnarchoPunk is legally prohibited from entering Orange County, we couldn’t send him to the show in Santa Ana. Instead, he was awarded a no-expense paid trip to the Mile High City to catch the legendary trio’s performance at The Gothic Theatre. Check out his review and photo gallery below!



DS Photo Gallery and Show Review: Ukulele Hiro/Aggro Mucho/Fozzy’s Hero/Pulley – Maui Sugar Mill Saloon (Los Angeles) 11/4/2016

While underrated, Maui Sugar Mill Saloon in Tarzana has become a rather noteworthy dive bar in recent years. This San Fernando Valley institution’s minuscule stage has played host to a number of high profile musicians over it’s lifespan including Dave Grohl and GNR’s Slash just to name a few. Veteran skate punks, Pulley were the latest legendary act to perform there and DS staffer AnarchoPunk was there to catch the whole thing! Check out the photo gallery and show review below!



All The Weirdos Came Out To Party at Hallowmas

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses
Jack Terricloth relishing in the excitement of his bands annual Halloween hell raising concert at The Warsaw.

Even though Scenic Presents brought World/Inferno Friendship Society and Choking Victim to the Warsaw to play their own separate and distinct shows, this year’s Hallowmas still seemed like day two of one hell of a Halloween weekend festival that Stza and the crack rock steady originators kicked off Sunday night. Many of the people in attendance for Hallowmas had come out the night before, the execution of the music came with the same overall aesthetic, there were members of the previous night’s bands out in the audience, and there were even a few cameo appearances onstage by the previous night’s headliner.

Though the festival feel may not have been a conscious decision by the bands or their promoter, after watching it go down it seems all but inevitable. WIFS’s fanbase is deeply intertwined with Choking Victim’s, and the bands are great friends. The way WIFS frontman Jack Terricloth gleefully called out Leftover Crack for playing on October 30th instead of the real Halloween was like a younger brother catching his older brother listening to Simple Plan and telling his friends about it.

And the family metaphor held strong throughout the evening, because as much as Hallowmas is a concert, it’s also a yearly tradition. Before the bands started playing, there were people chitchatting about how many years in a row they had come and old friends seeing each other for the first time since last year’s World/Inferno Friendship Society extravaganza.

Choking Victim bassist (R) Alec Baillie and Stza (P) along with the rest of Petersen’s friends showing respect to their fallen comrade before ambushing the pit.

There were even two separate tributes to a fallen family member, folk punk poet laureate Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew, whose widow Denise Lynn was in attendance. Opener Guignol played their band’s collaboration with Mischief Brew “Fight Dirty”, and toward the end of the evening six people led by Stza and Choking Victim bassist Alec Baillie carried jack-o-lanterns out into the moshpit that spelled E-R-I-K-P in lights.

However somber the cast lent by Petersen’s midsummer loss, Hallowmas was not a night of regret so much as one to celebrate the family that remains. Minutes before WIFS took the stage their faithful audience began cheering in unison “Tonight / we’re gonna / fuck shit up,” and seconds before the eight-piece folk performance collective arrived the insatiable crowd began informing Terricloth and his co-hooters that “We know” — to which one audience member who has haunted more than their fair share of World/Inferno shows (and even once got ejected from a WIFS show while wearing a pinstripe suit) responded, “I had no fucking idea.”

How often do Frida Kahlo and Andrew W.K. get together for one party?

Regardless of whether that World/Inferno ghost was being sarcastic or not, I had no fucking idea that WIFS was about to put on one of the most energetic two-hour performances I have ever seen. I have been present and counted at some truly memorable concerts in my life, whether it was Radiohead headlining Coachella, Pretty Lights’ first Bonnaroo, or that one time I caught the Flaming Lips while tripping my face off on some of the best LSD I’ve ever tried. And I tell you catching the World/Inferno Friendship Society on their home turf at the Warsaw on their big night Hallowmas can go toe-to-toe with any of those events.

Terricloth was in rare form, all decked out in a tuxedo, leading his band of weirdos in front of a crowd of even bigger weirdos. The crowd moshed, waltzed, mosh-waltzed, and stage dived while the ghoulish crooner threw everything he had at them; no matter how hard he went, all the crowd wanted was more. And more was just what they got when Stza jumped onstage to sing backup vocals for the grand finale.

Guignol might not perform often but when they do they do it well.

Guignol went on just before World/Inferno, and for a band that hasn’t gotten on a stage in years they sounded terrific. The night’s opener was Philly-based pop-punkers Teenage Halloween.



Choking Victim does “Reunioning” Right at The Warsaw in Brooklyn

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses
Choking Victim front man Scott “Stza” Sturgeon getting a heroes welcome in Brooklyn.

Scenic Presents’ sold-out Choking Victim show was the sort of evening that many of the fans in attendance had been dreaming about since they were in middle school (three years ago). But notwithstanding the young crowd — and to be fair, there was a good smattering of more seasoned punks throughout the auditorium too — Choking Victim killed.

The Warsaw show sold out so fast that Choking Victim were able to add a 3 p.m. set at a free show in Tompkins Square Park that same day. The free set was about six songs long, highly entertaining, and featured two OG members of Choking Victim making guest appearances. I assumed that the evening show would be about the same, but honestly even if the set lists had been identical, it would still have been like watching two completely different bands. And the set lists were completely different!

Sturgeon during the band’s earlier set at Tompkins Square Park.

Choking Victim tore through the entirety of their incendiary debut record No Gods No Managers and then concluded the night with a raucous cover of “Money Changes Everything.” In the park, they were a loose, comfortable band playing a show that could as easily have been in Stza’s livingroom as in front of hundreds of people in a historic New York City location. On the Warsaw stage, they were an unstoppable death machine ripping a hole through the eardrums of anyone dumb enough to listen (as I write this, my ears are still ringing).

The Warsaw moshpit erupted after about twenty seconds, and it had to have been within the next twenty seconds that a barrage of stage divers and crowd surfers rose to the top of the audience. People tried to stand toward the wings of the venue, but really being within fifteen feet of the stage put you in the blast radius for out-of-control skankers being ejected from the pit by the sea of moshers. Then whoever bowled them over would help them up and start all over again.

It was quite a raucous mosh pit throughout the entire night.

The current lineup was joined throughout the set by original drummer John Dolan, original bassist Sasha Scatter, OG bassist peasant James, C-Squat founder Popeye, and other close associates.

Stza claimed that the band only practiced each song twice, but it didn’t matter. No one goes to see Choking Victim, or any Stza-fronted band for that matter, for a precise musician who’s taking care to hit every note accurately. With Stza, it’s about raw emotion and explosive energy, which he provided in spades, fed on and intensified by bandmates Alec Baillie and Skwert.

There was a rich diversity in the people playing in many of the opening bands, but one thing that tied (almost) all of them together was Stza’s signature crack rock steady beat. No matter how far toward the precipice of heavy metal (almost) all of the openers got, they mostly found their way back to that more dub / ska sound.

As$troland went on right before Choking Victim and they were definitely the right band to welcome back the New York punk legends to performing.

(A)Truth and Trashy picked up two short early slots and both brought heavy guitars and the aforementioned beats. Death Vacation was a vicious kick in the teeth that may have been closer to metal than punk. Public Serpents are damn near as heavy as Death Vacation but went on dub tangents so mellow they could have been reggae. All Torn Up is one angry group of hardcore punks, and As$troland are an old school New York Hardcore band.

Death Vacation is definitely a band worth paying attention to in the future.

Death Vacation was close to stealing the show. After seeing Choking Victim, there is no doubt who the star of the evening was, but Death Vacation was damn close … check them out.



DS Show Review & Photo Gallery: Bad Religion, Against Me! & Dave Hause – St. Petersburg, FL

As you may have already heard, California punk legends Bad Religion are currently touring the US with Against Me! and Dave Hause. When the tour was announced and I found out it would be stopping in my back yard, at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, FL, I knew I had to be there.

Fast forward a few months and the day of the show, Wednesday, October 12th, finally arrived. I packed up my camera gear and made my way down to Downtown St. Pete. After battling rush hour traffic, I got to the venue just as Dave Hause was taking the stage. Being a fan of The Loved Ones who had never seen Dave live before, I was excited to see him play.

Hause played a 45-ish minute set, featuring a mix of solo material and Loved Ones songs. Though a fair portion of the crowd didn’t seem all that familiar with him, heads were bobbing, feet were tapping, and hands were clapping all throughout his energetic performance.

Finishing the set on a high note, Bad Religion bassist Jay Bentley and Against Me! drummer Atom Willard joined Hause in playing a handful of songs, including fan-favorite “We Could Be Kings.”

Next up was Against Me!. It had been something like 5 years since I last saw them (I think it was Warped Tour 2011), so I had no clue what to expect. When the band took the stage, the entire crowd let out an ear-piercing shriek akin to something you’d hear at a One Direction concert. I had never heard anything like it a punk show before, but a few seconds into Against Me!’s performance I understood why the crowd was so damn excited.

I thought Against Me! sounded good on their new records, but they are a whole different animal live. Every song they played was injected with energy and intensity, and the crowd never stopped jumping around and singing along for the full hour-long set. What surprised me the most was how many fans knew all the band’s new music. It’s not often that you see a sea of people who know every single word to songs off an album that was just released. I think that definitely shows how good Against Me!’s new music is.

Now, the grand finale, Bad Religion. As always, BR’s set was a mixed bag consisting of a little bit of everything from their extensive discography (16 full-length albums!). The band played classics like “I Want to Conquer the World,” “Against the Grain,” and “Generator,” as well as songs from their latest record True North. They even played random songs like “New America,” which I don’t think I had never seen live before.

What has always amazed me about Bad Religion’s live show is that, despite the fact that they’ve been doing this for more than three decades, they still look like they’re having the time of their lives on stage. Every time see them live, Jay Bentley’s running all over the place, Brian Baker is shredding on guitar, and Greg Graffin’s got a big smile on his face. It’s extremely admirable for a band that’s been around 35 years.

Recent additions Mike Dimkich and Jamie Miller do Bad Religion’s material justice as well. Dimkich, who joined the band after longtime guitarist Greg Hetson’s departure in 2013, seemed to fit in better than he did when I saw BR on the Summer Nationals tour in 2014. Miller, who took Brooks Wackerman’s place earlier this year, was fast and furious on the drums.

Needless to say, this was an awesome show and this tour is a must-see. Check out the tour dates here to see if Bad Religion, Against Me!, and Dave Hause are playing a city near you.

You can check out the full gallery of photos from the show I went to below.



DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: Just Go Just Leave / Staywell / Slurred Speech / Caskitt / Such Gold – Lancaster Moose Lodge – 9.30.2016

Such Gold

The scene in the Antelope Valley is starting to gain steam. Although it’s an hour and a half outside of Los Angeles proper, this little, high desert town is starting to book some pretty big talent. The latest example was a show at the Lancaster Moose Lodge on a perfect Southern California Friday night, when melodic hardcore all stars Such Gold rolled through and brought San Diego pop punks, Caskitt with them. Supporting the out- of-towners were exceptional up and coming local acts, Just Go Just Leave, Slurred Speech and Staywell proving that talent can be found even in the farthest corners of Los Angeles County. Check out the review and gallery below!



Show Review: The Posers @ Kung Fu Necktie – 9.18.16

It had felt like eons since I had seen the Posers live.

I had missed the chaos. The passion. There really is no other punk band in Philly with the same sense of action and purpose. Without much of an introduction, they broke straight into “Exist,” the first track on their new EP, Posers Too. It was almost as though this driving and determined record had come alive, shedding itself clean and making its own appearance front and center at this show. While the studio recording of this track is breathtaking, its even more pronounced in a live setting.

Posers were eerily silent throughout the set. I remember previous shows where the band had been fairly chatty, cracking jokes or vaguely introducing the next song. But this time, they seemed dedicated to powering through the set at warped speed. This didn’t mean that the show was any less engaging. “Copping In Camden” was the next song on the list, and this included frontwoman Jade Anna splayed on the floor, screeching and thrashing through chorus after chorus, with crowd members bowing before her, excited and fascinated and wanting to be ever closer to her performance. “Better Future” came next, which allowed guitarist Rory Cain to shine and let loose a bit. It became clear that the band felt a little tense coming back to the live scene, but after the first few tracks of their set, they were essentially back to their normal, albeit outlandish, behavior.

“Day//Night” was one of the most exciting new songs to hear live. A highlight was getting to see Anna picked up by the crowd, and practically marched around through the small venue space. She appeared calm throughout the experience and didn’t miss a beat of any of her vocal cues. Everything went according to plan. It’s not unusual for the Posers to get up close and personal with the crowd and their fanbase, often trying to cross the line and see how far they can take it. I was happy to hear “Nothing” smack dab in the middle of the set, due to the fact that it’s a natural crowd-pleaser and one of the band’s most beloved songs. It was a nice flow and transition between the old and new, and proved a point that while the Posers are still a relatively new band, their sound has evolved into something that is truly unique to them, and them only. I missed watching bassist Johnny Mick assault the microphone with his vocals, his eyes popping and landing on every face in the crowd.

I believe that “Mannequin” and “Posers” are meant to be played side-by-side. I was thrilled to hear the two played in this order, as I’ve always considered the two tracks to be long lost cousins in the musical catalog that is the Posers. Both songs have their lulled moments, but they are also risky and temperamental. I had the chance to speak with Cain a few moments before they took the stage, and he informed me that the band would be unleashing a new song during the set. I was surprised, and equally as impressed. Hearing “More Than This” was a rush, and it brought me back to the feeling I had when I heard the Posers for the first time. While the band has had a habit of gaining and losing drummers (think Spinal Tap), their latest addition is easily their best. Collin Russert performed as an absolute madman during “More Than This” and his control is top notch. There were drum fills I witnessed that made my head spin, and I don’t want that feeling to ever go away. I gotta see it live again.

My favorite performance of the night was “Protest Song,” not only because it’s my favorite song off of Posers Too, but because I had a good feeling about where the band would take it in a live setting. I wasn’t disappointed. This track was just as energetic and frightening in this live setting as it was in the studio recording. I’ve been blown away by the Posers before, but nothing quite like this. Anna covered every inch of floor space, taking up as much room as she possibly could and allowed the crowd to move in and out of her way as they pleased. Some people may have been nervous, as Anna wasn’t afraid to get into anyone’s face, but I was enamored.

They finally closed out the set with “I Don’t Wanna Know” which felt like the last hurrah to an explosive and volatile experience. One thing I’ve always admired about seeing the Posers live is their ability to turn a show into a full blown living and breathing participation. The crowd is just as important as the band itself. Whether you are standing in the back of the room apprehensive, or if you’re front and center and screaming along, this band is going to make you feel like a part of the show. The beauty of this sort of thing is that you don’t forget it. Maybe you don’t remember the sequence of the setlist. Maybe you can’t recall every word in every chorus. But that’s okay. You’re not going to forget the taste this band left in your mouth, or the way they locked eyes with you in the crowd and triple dog dared you to bush the envelope like them. But that’s the beauty of it. That’s the Posers. It’s okay if you don’t fit in. They don’t either.



Punk Rock Holiday 1.7 Completely Sold Out plus 2016 Festival Review – Punk Rock Holiday 1.6: A Retrospective

So, last week tickets for next year’s Punk Rock Holiday completely sold out. It took less than twenty-four hours for the five thousand tickets to get snapped up, a response far greater than any previous year. This is quite astonishing when you consider that not a single band has even been announced for the 2017 edition. If you missed out on a ticket, there is still some hope as there are rumors that the Beach Stage bands will be selling tickets again this year. There will also be a resale later in the year for people who panic-bought tickets on release day and found out they can’t make it after all. For the best chance to get yourself a ticket, keep following the festival Facebook page and add as many of the bands from the Beach Stage lineup to your social media streams.

If you did manage to get a ticket, or you’re just feeling a bit nostalgic about last month’s festival then you can check out our 2016 festival review below:



Brooklyn Folks Come Out in Force to Say Goodbye to Erik Petersen

The same thing that makes a memorial show for Erik Petersen in Brooklyn more intimate and beautiful than one for someone like David Bowie or Lemmy also makes it far more heartbreaking. Far be it from me to say that all those who went out to dance for the Star Man or have a Jack and Coke for Lemmy were not experiencing a personal tragedy. But most of those people never shared a moment, a conversation, or a drink with their hero.

When it came to Mischief Brew’s poetic front-man, it seemed like every punk who showed up to pay tribute to him on Sunday night had had a more personal encounter with the folk punk icon.

“I absolutely hate the reason we are all here tonight” said Brook Pridemore, the evening’s third performer just before he began his set. Then after he’d broken just about half the strings on his guitar he told a story about a time he had spent at Erik and Denise Petersen’s home in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania when he saw Erik squeeze the poop out of one of the more seasoned of the Petersen’s beloved pugs. He followed that story with a singalong rendition of “Old Tyme Mem’ry.”

Christy Road seemed to be working hard to hold it together during her set at the Erik Petersen tribute show.

Before Pridemore, Early Riser, Cristy Road, and two members of Teenage Halloween had performed short somewhat somber solo acoustic sets. During this time the crowd was rather small and subdued, and when it shouted words at the stage they were encouraging. An audience member called out “But it’s beautiful!” to Road when she pointed out a slight mistake in her rendition of Mischief Brew classic “Every Town Will Celebrate.”

At no point did the show ever feel like anything but a celebration of an inspiring man’s life, but until Pridemore, things felt a bit more like a remembrance. After he flooded the stage with his energy and anger it started to feel like a party. The crowd started forming, the mosh pit opened up, and the evening’s pent-up frustration and rage rose to the surface.

If there was one thing that Brook Pridemore had no problem doing it was showing emotion on stage.

Then Out of System Transfer took the stage, and while the Brooklynites definitely represented the more folk side of folk punk — which toward the latter part of their run Mischief Brew expressly shied away from — the people in attendance didn’t slam dance any more subtly for it. The trombone-toting four-piece played a few covers, and their lead singer waxed poetic about his and Petersen’s shared affinity for obscure folk tunes in a set that included tracks like “The Preacher and the Slave” by Joe Hill, “Pancho and Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt, and “Mary Ellen Carter” by Stan Rogers, a track Mischief Brew had released as a single. They also hit Mischief Brew’s “Lowly Carpenter” along with some Out of System Transfer originals.

By the time the folk punk collective Comrades took the stage the venue seemed so packed it was about to burst, and it wouldn’t have mattered whether it was the loud, angsty, and abrasive sounds of Comrades or another solo acoustic act getting on stage; the audience was ready to lose their minds. The melee ensued the moment Comrades struck their first note and the pushing and shoving didn’t end until after their last. Though Comrades didn’t play any Mischief Brew covers, their track “Give Me Coffee or Give Me Meth” is a clear homage to Mischief Brew’s “Gimme Coffee Or Death.”

It was during their set that the show really started to feel like the sort of shindig that Mischief Brew would have headlined. It felt as though at any second Erik might just come through the door from the merch booth or back from the bar after a glass of whisky.

But in the absence of ghosts, Israeli composer and musician Yula Beeri was no consolation prize. Her three-piece band was one of the most exciting and musically proficient acts of the evening; Yula spent most of their set on a stool and still managed to keep the crowd in a frenzy. She also split part of the set with World Inferno/Friendship Society frontman Jack Terricloth. They did two tracks together, one with Yula’s full band and the other a haunting rendition of “Friend to the Friendless.”

Jack Terricloth’s appearance really put the cap on a night that was already as beautiful as it could have been.

“It is one of life’s absurd jokes that I am playing a memorial for Mr. Petersen, rather than Mr. Petersen playing a memorial for me,” said Terricloth. “Comedy is part of the grieving process, take it from me,” he added before raising a toast to the fallen.

After the official performances wrapped up, Out of System Transfer led a rousing singalong of Mischief Brew songs — among others, “Roll Me Through the Gates of Hell” and “Thanks, Bastards” — before the stage was opened up to anyone who wished to jump up and sing a song in tribute to Erik Petersen.

Out of System Transfer leading rousing renditions of some of Mischief Brew’s biggest hits along with the crowd.

While fans of Petersen’s took their turn on the mic and the crowd sang along, the real sadness of the event started to take hold of many in attendance. Terricloth stood stoic in the back of the venue surveying the thinning group, while others sat down on the concrete floor.

As people stumbled over lyrics and pulled out cell phones for quick refreshers on tunes, we all realized that this was it. Denise Petersen watched the clumsy, loving efforts to keep things going for one more song. “It’s a beautiful shit-show,” she said, “like my life.”



DS Photo Gallery and Show Review: Slurred Speech; Rotten Blue Menace; Beer Run – The Britisher, Lancaster, CA (8/5/2016)

Rotten Blue Menace

Seated in the heart of the Antelope Valley about 50 miles north of Los Angeles, is the sleepy, high desert town of Lancaster, California. It’s not known for much these days although there used to be a nice little scene up there years ago. That’s why I was surprised when I heard that Denver skacore act, The Rotten Blue Menace had booked a show up there at The Britisher as part of their Summer Tour. With the draw of the big city only an hour away, it’s good to see smaller, satellite areas getting some attention. Perhaps it’s a sign of a rejuvenation of the SoCal scene or maybe it is just an attempt. Regardless of the reasoning, there was no way I was missing this show which also featured some damn fine local talent in the form of skate punk threesome Slurred Speech (who have recently returned from over a decade long hiatus) and fledgling garage punk trio, Beer Run. So I laced up my shit kickers and headed north on the 14 to smash some skulls. Check out the full review and photo gallery below.