The SWMRs and the Interrupters blasted punk music to a sold-out crowd at Velvet Jones on Saturday, Oct. 21. A youthful crowd milled about the aesthetically appropriate, gritty, and dim venue; the checkerboard dance floor of Velvet Jones held a youthful entropy in the air.
The brashly decorated walls aligned classic black and white silhouettes of rock and roll’s greatest of all time, while crowd members who perhaps had seen these performers live huddled nearby.
Without much fanfare, a stripe of blond hair flashed out from backstage and landed in front of the mic, and the show began. SharpShock opened, a band with two members from the United Kingdom.
Davey Warsop’s energetic stage presence and talent on guitar along with Dan Smith on bass produced a grimy, organic sound. The sound was completed with a west coast drum-kick from Korey Kingston, a San Diego native.
Soon a self-regulating chaos filled the floor, as a hoarse Warsop sang “The Tension,” a song that describes the pervading uneasiness that has perpetually filled his life.
A simple trio, the band played at a frenetic pace, with songs like “Infatuation” expressing a frenzied urgency to know whether love is mutual. The band had a pained yet soothing collection of speedy guitar riffs and complete, full sounding bass lines, and the drumming crescendoed into jangling symbols.
As SWMRS prepared to take the stage, the crowd pulsed in anticipation and a spontaneous vocal cheer rose as the SharpShock backdrop fell, revealing a Cheshire cat grinning at the crowd from the shadows.
Cole Brewer, Joey Armstrong — son of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong — and Max Becker took their places on stage. An eerie, haunting sound filled the darkened hall, preempting an explosion of noise.
‘BRB’ kicked off the SWMRS’ set, with thick guitar riffs, wolfish howling, and a moshing crowd below happily flooding around. Fans were crashing into each other as many free radicals assimilated into sound waves by the SWMRS’ iconic punk tunes.
“Ruining My Pretending” followed, as vicious sound erupted from the stage in a harsh expression of musical passion. The crowd roared, “You don’t believe you’re ruining my pretending,” in a chant.
“Silver Bullet” crowned the performance, as the bassist’s thrashing twirl proceeded a cacophony of screams, while the fast paced, high energy music moved fans’ feet.
Joey said to repeat after him, “I just wanna be uncool,” and reminded fans we have power, and all people have equal rights.
As they began playing ‘Uncool,’ from their 2016 album “Drive North,” the crowd began to froth to this beautiful contradiction; revealing how punk returns to its roots for inspiration as it expands to new horizons.
The Interrupters quickly took the stage, laying down American ska-punk from their latest album Say It Out Loud. Their set began with “By My Side,” an upbeat tune that lead the crowd to dance along to the resounding horn and guitar chord progressions.
Aimee Allen, the lead vocalist, dressed sharply with her bowler, jaunted back to reveal brown, hopeful eyes. She reached out and grabbed someone’s hand while she sang “She Got Arrested.”
Backed by the three Bivona brothers, The Interrupters’ fun songs focus on the importance of solidarity. Their song “On A turntable” proved hope comes through rebellious music with warbling trumpets and melodious drumming.
By arguing trans-rights, feminism, and wars on equality are worthy, The Interrupters embodied a new moral compass in punk.
The first recorded use of punk describes a “harlot, strumpet, or prostitute.” The Interrupters show the genre is quickly reclaiming and fighting original prejudices.
Allen used her sweet voice to sing for equality, while fast paced heavy guitar sounds and flexible drumming screamed the consequences of ignoring these issues.
The show combined three bands which span the punk genre, and the concert met many people’s tastes within the tight knit community Velvet Jones fostered.