According to Big Ups’ singer Joe Galarraga, Sriracha mayo, cumin, and marinara were the flavors brought to the 7th Street Entry last night. Joe literally asked a member of each band what flavor they thought they brought to the table and those were the answers. If the fact that that was an actual conversation that was had during the show last night doesn’t have you wishing you were there, I can’t help you. Last night was a night full of great music, hearty laughs and huge smiles. It was yet another perfect night in the life of The Girl at the Rock Shows.
Let’s start with opening act Russian Girlfriends (also known as the cumin flavor of the night apparently). Hailing from Albuquerque, NM, Russian Girlfriends had an energy that was nothing short of infectious. As soon as the band jumped into their upbeat and catchy punk song, you couldn’t help but start bobbing your head along while the smile crept across your face. Although they only formed three years ago, these guys have clearly already made a name for themselves. Sure, it helps that this band features ex-members of Koffin Kats, Adam Hooks & His Hang- Ups, and Glitter Dick but there’s so many more reasons why these guys have gained so much popularity so quickly. They are damn good and singer Adam Hook’s personality puts them in a perfect position to take over the scene. Like the other bands that graced the stage after them on Monday night, there was nothing cocky or pretentious about their set. It was just a couple guys, playing some great music and clearly having a great time while doing so. Exactly how a punk show should be.
As the cumin flavor came to an end, it was time for the crowd to get a little taste of the marinara– Big Ups. Bigs Ups’ music was much more post-hardcore than the other two primarily punk bands but that didn’t make them the odd man out in any way, shape or form. They actually fit the bill perfectly and their difference in genre kept the night feeling interesting and fresh. After blasting through the first song of their nearly forty minute set, Joe (the vocalist) explained that that one had been about his dad and the next song would be about eggplants. The explanations for the songs were about as off the wall as Joe’s personality but, joking aside, these guys were oddly great. It definitely isn’t the type of music I typically listen to. It’s a bit too spacey and spread out for someone like myself who loves fast and dirty music, but there was something about it that had me intrigued. Maybe it was the strange, almost alter-ego like personality of Joe or just the good vibes in the room in general but I was definitely liking Big Ups’ set.
At one point during Big Ups’ set, some heckler in the crowd shouted out for the band to do a Tom Petty cover. Joe chuckled into the microphone and explained that they don’t play that kind of music because the band members are actually from the moon. Stupid cheesy? Sure. Absolutely hilarious and fit the personality of the music perfectly? Definitely. Joe (who clearly did all of the talking if you didn’t catch on) went on to explain that they will be back in town at The Fine Line to open up for Bully next month. “That guy definitely won’t be there!” He laughed along with the generous crowd as he pointed at Tom Petty man.
Finishing off the night was everyone’s favorite flavor- Sriracha mayo or, in this case, Pears. Pears is a punk band from New Orleans, LA that, after seeing them play live once (when opening for NOFX last year) I became completely enamored with and was more than excited for a chance to see them perform yet again. The energy that radiates from all of the members of Pears is something that should be envied by other bands.
Like the other two bands that played, vocalists seemed to reign supreme when it came to stealing the spotlight and Zach Quinn of Pears was no different. Whether he was on stage screaming his heart out or rolling around on the ground of the 7th Street Entry, there was an undeniable energy about Zach that was infectious. Just seeing him and his antics made you smile. At one point Zach thought it would be a good idea to use the trusses hanging from the ceiling as monkey bars and make his way from the back of the crowd to the stage. Sure, my heart skipped a beat thinking oh lord, please don’t let the ceiling come down on us, but, even then, there was a smile on my face. Although there were plenty of times that his sense of humor made the crowd laugh, there were plenty more times that he had a sense of intensity about him that was almost overwhelming in a way. He had this complete punk, I don’t give a fuck attitude that I have always envied yet he came off as genuinely appreciative of everyone who had taken time out of the busy lives to come to their show on a Monday night.
There was plenty of joking around last night like when Zach explained that his birthday was on Sunday so he would accept the entire crowd singing him happy birthday for the next month (the crowd did go ahead and sing for him). Then there was when each band member talked about their first live concert. Zach’s first, second and third concerts were Buckcherry, Smashmouth, Lenny Kravitz “Can’t you see the influence?!” He joked. Even with all of the joking, the band wasn’t messing around when it came to their music. Their fast songs hit you like a satisfying punch in the face. The music was loud and dirty yet somehow came off as polished and perfect.
Monday night’s show was a mix of flavors including cumin, marinara and Sriracha mayo. Those flavors clearly shouldn’t work well together but, somehow, they ended up being the perfect combination.