(Written May 14th 2016, photo gallery of The Frights can be found in Issue 3 of Uncover)
Four bands, four amazing sets, four days of sore muscles.
On May 14th, I arrived at popular Santa Ana music venue, the Observatory, not knowing what the night was going to hold. Of the four bands playing, I was familiar with two but was mainly coming to see The Frights. It would have been the third time I would be seeing them perform, but an untimely stomach virus caused me to miss their set at the Echoplex on Valentine’s day. If you are not familiar with them, The Frights are an American surf punk band from San Diego, California, who consists of Mikey Carnevale (guitar/lead vocals), Richard Dotson (bass/vocals), and Marc Finn (drums).
The night started off with the LA punk band, No Parents. From the very first strum of the very first song of their set, the crowd went wild. Even though I had never heard of the band, I moshed, danced, and screamed along to the music laughing as the lead singer, Zoe Reign, shaked his hips to the songs. Halfway through, he called for a wall of death and the mass of people in the pit charged at one another while the sound of drums banged in the background. Before their set, my friends and I were standing in the center of the pit area but by the end, we were smashed against the wall.
To be quite honest, the entirety of SWMRS’ set is a blur to me. I barely had time to compose myself after the first band and by the time they started, the crowd went wild again. All I remember is trying desperately to cling on to my friend’s hand as the people around me pushed and pulled at each other. Breathing had become a problem and as they kept rocking on, we decided it was probably best to take a breather (literally) after they finished playing. That proved to be difficult, though, because it seemed liked everyone else in the pit had the same idea.
After clawing ourselves out, my friends and I managed to cool ourselves off in the lobby area, our shirts drenched with not only our own sweat but that of others as well.
We came back as The Frights took stage and getting back into the pit proved to be harder than getting out. The stage lights and the movement of the crowd proved to be so disorienting that I could not even enjoy the music because I was attempting to stay alive. The amount of times I was kicked in the face and the beer poured down my neck was enough to get me to me give up and try to get out. Fortunately, it was less difficult this time around because whatever higher power exists above us sent a blue-haired punk girl to pull me out of the Pit of Hell.
Watching from a distance was proved to be enjoyable because I could actually sing and dance along without having to dodge the flailing body parts of the others around me. The Frights are truly one of the best bands to see live. Their energy and their sound makes all of the above worth it.
The lights, when seen properly, were actually pleasant and illuminated the faces of the bandmembers in cool greens and blues. The music, the lights, and the atmosphere all seemed to blend together nicely like watercolor painting of the ocean. (Which I would say is fitting for a surf punk band.)
And after three amazing sets, FIDLAR, the actual embodiment of skate punk, took stage.
If I thought the crowd was wild before, it was nothing compared to how they reacted to them. Every single person in the venue was singing along like their hearts depended on it, those in places other than the pit started moshing, and we all became one with the music.
Guys and girls danced, people were giddy,and the music played loudly. All of this reminded me why we put ourselves through the tumultuous crowds and rude people, through the spilled drinks and bruised arms. Music draws us all together and allows us to open our ears and not think. At one point, everyone was told to sit down and simply listen, creating a moment of serenity amongst a night of chaos.
But as all things do, the night came to an end. Overall, I’d have to say that it was one of the most memorable and wildest shows I have ever gone to. The bruises I had days after a reminder of that. Be sure to check out the bands below if you want a taste of punk music, and be sure to catch them at a show for a wild but memorable night!
No Parents: http://www.noparents.la/
The Frights: http://www.thefrights.com/