The Swingin’ Utters Bring The Party To A Wednesday Night


The show I wanted to go to on Tuesday night was cancelled. That means I hadn’t been at a show in two nights. I could feel the anxiety and anger building up inside of me. The amount of idiots I dealt with during the day at work had me on edge. I needed a release of some sort– I needed a show. I know a lot of people have a lot of different ways of coping. There’s drinking or sleeping or just zoning out on the couch but those things have never worked for me. The only way for me to relieve the built up aggression from working a day job and feeling like I don’t have my shit together for being twenty-nine years old is to go to a concert.

Getting the night started right at 8:30 was The Right Here from “right over there (Minneapolis)… and Little Canada”. Although their intro didn’t quite catch the quickly growing crowd, their music definitely did and the crowd seemed to migrate closer to the stage as the band powered through their quick, thirty-five minute opening set. With a little bit of a country influence behind their music, The Right Here had a sound that definitely stood out and had me hooked. It had a very pop-punk vibe about it but definitely had a southern twang thrown in there. It was the perfect music to make me forget that it was already nearly 9PM on a Wednesday night and the perfect music to have me tapping my toes to. Not only was their music perfect but their banter was on point. It was just enough to make you feel a connection with the band members but not too much as to distract you from the music. With their bassist “quitting” twice during their short set due to terrible jokes and puns, there was something so honest and full of life about these guys. Like many other local bands that I stumble upon, these guys are a new favorite and you best believe I will be clearing my calendar for a chance to catch them again.

Following The Right Here was The Last Gang from California. I instantly fell in love within their first song. With a very punk vibe and very intense energy, they took the stage and I was left pleading with the concert Gods for more when it was all said and done. Singer Brenna Red had a sort of intensity about her that made for a truly amazing stage show. Her stare went straight through you if you were caught in her crossfire but there was something so real about her that it was hard to look away. The music definitely had a very Distillers vibe to it but also had something all it’s own. Their flawless cover of Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” helped end their set on a high note but, honestly, their set was on a high note the entire time. Brenna spoke about how they somehow lucked into contributing to a Rancid tribute album with their cover of “Cocktails”. As the band kicked into the cover, it was clear that it wasn’t luck that got them on that album, it was pure talent. It’s very rare that I can stand through an entire set and forget to check my phone for any updates on friends that may be coming out or wandering to the bar for a quick drink but The Last Gang had me stuck where I was with my jaw on the floor. As soon as their set was done, I whipped out my phone and started texting my brother about The Last Gang. I feel terrible for anyone who didn’t make it out in time to see them and I hope they come back very soon so I can drag all of my friends and make them feel what I felt last night.

I honestly didn’t need anything else last night. Any stress or aggression from the day was gone and the smile on my face stretched from ear to ear. That being said, my heart started to flutter as I saw Swingin’ Utters loading their gear onto the stage. Without delay, the band jumped into an extensive set that was just the icing on the cake of an amazing night. I didn’t keep count but these guys must have played nearly twenty songs rapid fire. The crowd was loving it and the lack of breaks made the surprisingly (for a Wednesday night) full audience not much more than a sweaty mess. The last time I caught Swingin’ Utters was one of the last nights I was ever at The Triple Rock. I feel like that kind of over shadowed their show and had my mind wandering but last night was all about them and although I was already impressed with the two openers, The Swingin’ Utters were able to catch my attention and have my phone stashed in my bag throughout their set.

Swingin’ Utters has been around since the late 1980’s and have stayed true to their California punk sound ever since. Vocalist Johnny “Peebucks” Bonnel has a very distinct presence. His movements on stage are intense and almost threatening as he has a tendency to hit himself over and over again in the head. Although it’s a bit strange to see, it helps make Swingin’ Utters what they are and creates a live show that never gets old. Although Johnny can come off as aggressive, his dance moves are nothing less than comical. Think the robot mixed with a swing dancer. It’s fun to watch and seemed to give me the courage to start dancing around however I saw fit. Whether you were in the small pit that had formed in front of the stage or dancing by yourself against the wall, there were smiles all around The Turf Club last night.

I was antsy and angry at work yesterday. It was like I was going through withdrawals and I just needed to get to a concert. I don’t understand people that can just go home after a crappy day and sleep it off. I needed a show and last night’s couldn’t have been more perfect.