I was indulging in some Growlers up the street at Origami Vinyl, so sadly I arrived at the end of Catwalks’ set after running to the crowded Echoplex. When I waltzed in Catwalk was playing “(Please) Don’t Break Me,” an incredibly catchy song. I was drunk with tiredness, but I couldn’t help myself in trying to get the crowd to dance. They sounded as amazing as always and quite a few people enjoyed them as much as I did. Catwalk’s music is on the softer side in comparison to headliner Fucked Up, so a lot of people who generally listen to “hardcore punk” weren’t being open-minded and didn’t pay much attention to Catwalk. I hope they still respected how talented these three dudes are.
Next up was Audacity, and the crowd seemed to be more familiar with them. Being from the Fullerton area, I’ve known about and seen these Burger Records veterans plenty a time and they never disappoint. The Echoplex sound system is amazing, every sound can be heard perfectly and the drums sound powerful no matter who is playing. In Audacity’s case, the drums sound powerful no matter what, but with this sound system, “Punk Confusion,” “Indian Chief,” and “Subway Girl” were projected to our ears beautifully and the audience really dug these songs.
While I was dancing passionately to Growlers at Origami Vinyl, I received word that the special guest at the Echoplex was Off! and my friends and I got even more excited for this show. There seemed to be many fans of Off! around (especially those wearing Circle Jerks or Black Flag patches), and the crowd moshed and danced energetically. They played loud, hard, and fast as always and got absolutely everyone’s attention with a eulogy for one of Keith Morris’ best friends, punk god Jeffrey Lee Pierce. The crowd rejoiced violently while I ironically sat calmly in a friend’s patched up jean jacket as a fellow from North Carolina sparked up conversation with me. Keith said, “Our friends from Toronto, Canada, Fucked up, will fuck up your world,” as Off! ended their set. Punk definitely isn’t dead, so shut the fuck up.
I will now take this opportunity to use the word fuck as much as possible as I describe to you just how fucking crazy Fucked Up’s set was (just kidding that would be fucking annoying). I stood dead center ready to die, since the crowd was fully vicious. I rolled with the punches even though I hadn’t slept in days, and walked through Echo Park all day long (I don’t know why)—until someone poured a full glass of beer directly on my face and punched me immediately after. I took this as a hint that I should step back a little bit and let the crazy kids kill one another adoringly. The vocalist, Damian Abraham, known as “Pink Eyes,” said, “Thank you so fucking much” when the crowd cheered excitedly. I enjoyed “The Other Shoe” as Abraham’s relentless vocals contrasted with the gentle back-up of bassist Sandy Miranda and guitarist Ben Cook “dying on the inside.” This song captures the Fucked Up sound—upbeat and positive followed by shifts to heavier hardcore sounds and tough vocals. Abraham said, “Every best band now is in the West Coast! We’ll get it back, we’ll get it back!” as the crowd cheered and laughed, and continued to mosh brutally and crowd surf. Fucked Up is a truly solid band of extremely talented musicians. Thank you, Fuck Yeah Fest, for this Fucked Up Show.