The day of the dress finally arrived, as people shuttled through the Koffey Haus gate for a night of intense and sensational musical celebration; the Stockton crowd met the Stockton sun once again, as sweat drained from every pore, down all legs, arms, faces, and whatever else it could find; the scene was alive again to welcome back its beloved musical performers, which included Matt Ratt, Pine + Palm, Berkeley's Sarchasm, Arizona's Westbrook, Oakland's own Pity Party, and Stockton hardcore virtuosos, Cheap Shoes. A bill fit for the finest of crowds, the music did not let anyone down.
The day of festivities began with a crew of men clad in dresses (myself included) and other accessories, a fitting testament to the accepting nature of the scene as a whole, and also in truly good fun; if I had to say, Garrett's dress was the winner of style, but Tito looked truly the best.
The music started at 5:15 with Matt Ratt's acoustic set, taking place right outside of the venue; people formed a sizable crowd as Matt banged away the chords to songs off of his latest EP (found here!), with the crowd unabashedly singing along. Tunes such as "Change" and "Stockton Belongs To Me" were hits, with people eager to view the magic of his music; even his phone couldn't keep quiet during the set. His performance ended with a cover of the classic "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton; ain't nobody able to say this scene isn't diverse.
Check out Matt Ratt's Bandcamp here!
Following the Ratt-ster were the savants of "groovy nostalgic pop punk folk rock" (their words, not mine), Pine + Palm, performing an acoustic set of their own, with drummer Seth Jacks taking over bass duties. The songs began, as they quickly entered the realm of performance with "I Killed JFK", with Tanner's mystifying lead part trading off with Cheyenne's vocals, whose impactful and near-tearful embrace put the bow on a masterfully constructed tune; throughout the set, the band played classics such as "Explain", "Affection", and "Talk Rough", with Seth's funky bass lines building the tension that makes the choruses of the songs truly pop; another splendid performance closed out by "Dakota", and the next band was ready to begin.
Check out Pine + Palm's Bandcamp here!
Sarchasm's set proved that technical difficulties can be overcome, and a helluva punk show can still transpire despite the slight lack of guitar. Ripping away pop punk numbers, ska numbers, and even songs that were reminiscent of the melodic prowess featured in melodic hardcore music, the band's set found no inch of disappointment. People grooved to the vocal trade offs between drummer Stevie and guitarist Mari. Making the trek from Berkeley on a hot day and having to set up immediately and play is never easy, but between the shredding bass lines, the howling and fiery vocals, the riffing of true punk rock, and cannon-shot drums, the band pulled through and put on a memorable set. Good luck on tour, keep kicking ass!
Check out Sarchasm's Bandcamp here!
The final outdoor-performance of the night was brought upon by the trumpet/guitar duo of Tempe, Arizona's Westbrook, and they rocked the occasion. Driving emo guitar progressions and vocals, accented by tantalizing trumpet work, made for a set full of cheering and intrigued listeners. Displaying good stage (or should I say pool-side) presence and a litany of impressive songs, the band harkened back to the talent and ability displayed by bands such as American Football, though still maintaining their own ground in the realm of emo-inspired music. A great set by a band who we are all now acquainted with, they shall keep on rockin'.
Check out Westbrook's Bandcamp here!
The stacked card of the night fought on, as the show kicked in hard with the return of Pity Party to the Koffey Haus. Officially on a 30+ day tour, the band brought all the energy to Stockton, playing classics such as "Peter Frampton (From East Oakland)", "Party Stops", and the guns-out fucking rager of "Suicide Handbook", as well as a slew of new songs that not only held up to the mettle of older songs, but exceeded them with the blitzing assault of pop punk overtones and screaming vocals from singer Sarah Levy. Though guitarist Julian's guitar also suffered problems during the set, it was no issue as the band continued to demolish the crowd with their signature sound of Bay Area punk rock, finishing out the set with the mosh-pit inducing "Gnarbage". Check them out on tour of you're near any shows!
Check out Pity Party's Bandcamp here!
Stockton icons Cheap Shoes made their triumphant return to the city following their mini-tour which saw them go around the state, as well as to Nevada, even.. and boy. Energy is high at a hardcore show as it is, but Cheap Shoes know how to bring the party to the stage; Nelson's bass tone cut through the jugular of the crowd as vocalist Richard Burriel sonically howled his way through the noise of biting and relentless hardcore; "fuck me, fuck you, your life is full of shame", the lyrics that define brutality, put a feather in the cap of a truly defining night in Stockton music. Thanks to everyone for coming out on a Monday, to ensure a good time, and to always keep our scene breathing!
Check out Cheap Shoes' Bandcamp here!