Descendents Rock Out at First Avenue

Credit: Sean Donohue

In what might be seen as a warmup show for Riot Fest this weekend, three fantastic punk bands took stage at First Avenue to celebrate the youthfulness and independence of punk music. No Parents, Iron Chich, and The Descendents came to Minneapolis to test their energy with the punks of the Twin Cities. 

At around 8 o’clock LA-based punk band, No Parents greeted the mostly parent age, crowd. Throughout their set, they made it very clear no parents were involved in the creation of their sets antics. Shirts were taken off, profanities were shouted, and there was even a song dedicated to Grandmas, in which the band made it very clear they reject the wishes of their grandparents and are in a punk band. For forty minutes the group danced around the growing crowd, warming them up for the punk-rock to follow. As a side note, No Parents announced they have an upcoming show at Turf Club which I couldn’t recommend more to any child, young or old, wishing to rebel against their parents. 

After the shenanigans of No Parents,  Iron Chic stepped on stage. With a few more years under their belt, Iron Chic’s set was filled with sing-along moments from crowd members. The crowd was growing to its max capacity for the night as their set played on. The audience seemed more than thrilled to jive with the set and the moshing slowly began. Their set was filled with everything a person could ask for in a punk show. There were negative messages for the establishment, moments of appreciation for the community of punk music, addressing of mental health, and most importantly, a celebration of individualism. No, these were not all discussions the band had with audience members but rather themes that presented themselves throughout their set. 

The time was nearing 10 o’clock and so far every person in the crowd wearing a Descendents t-shirt (which was most) was going without a sighting of their shirt representing band.  Thankfully though, things changed. The four-piece Descendents made their way onto the stage one by one. The first thing my eyes were drawn to was the water bottle, neatly strapped across the chest of frontman Milo Aukerman. It hung just short of his cargo shorts painting the picture of a boy scout rather than the frontman of one of America’s most famous and influential punk bands. He put all questions of his punkiness to shame as they dove into their set, which began with songs such as “Suburban Home,” “Everything Sucks,” and “Silly Girl.” One after another the band rocked out sets spanning from their whole discography which dates back to the early ’80s. 

There may not have been much time set aside for interacting with the crowd but seeing that most crowd members were busy getting their mosh on, it didn’t seem all that necessary. The group must have made their way through nearly 30 songs by the time they closed the night.  There was no verbal recognition of the magic which came from the night as the Descendents made their way off stage, but everyone in the crowd was feeling it. More than ever, the embracement of punk shows and punk mentality is important. The future may be uncertain, but a punk attitude, in my opinion, is sure to deliver the best results.