By dj saratonin
All photos by Sarah Tello.
Attending our second night at Noisepop, DJ Frenzy and I were more than eager to catch the essential Bay Area four-piece, punk/rock band Destroy Boys. The previous night we desperately tried to catch the all-fem rock band Habibi, but we had to leave on such short-notice in order to catch our train. So we set on Destroy Boys for giving us our mosh crazy, thrashing rock fix. Which is exactly what we got, and something much more valuable too.
The first song I ever heard by Destroy Boys was I Threw Glass At My Friends’ Eye And Now I’m On Probation, which is just one of their guitar-heavy, screaming pieces that focuses on non-consensual, boundary-pushing, disappointments. This song immediately struck me as I felt my internally-reserved feelings coming out, stirring within me and begging for more action. The fate of my aggression laid on the hard kicks of Ethan Knight, fast-paced riffs of Violet Mayugba, and they found meaning in the yelling and screaming of Alexia Roditis, as they cursed the world for unintended consequences. Listening more and more through their discography, their emotional authenticity pierced through all the loud noise, and like a gust of our own personal thoughts, were louder than anything else. Loud yelling and noisy guitars could only give us a sliver of experiences that continuously define our past, present, and future.
That is why as soon as me and DJ Frenzy walked into Bottom of the Hill, and we heard Clit Kat’s lead singer Henry, give important advice to the crowd that looked so small and young, everything seemed to come full circle. Their music, their audience, and their show was all a part of a larger storyline. Henry gave encouraging and uplifting words, providing unconditional support to his fans, which drew them closer to each other. It became clear that at this concert, in that crowd, many of us were finally going to receive closure. Younger faces in the crowd made me question if it was the right place for them to be, but it then proved that it was exactly where they needed to be. As Gym Shorts continued with the next set, the room was livid with playful aggressiveness. Their spitting-image of rebellion and child-like themes got the crowd properly riled up. And as things were escalating a bit, I was afraid that it would be unbearable by the time Destroy Boys came on.
To my luck, their first song was I Threw Glass At My Friends’ Eye And Now I’m On Probation, and I was ready to get insane. Which is exactly what happened, but no one around me tried to punch me in the face or drag me out of the front. Everyone was yelling with a grin plastered on their face and careful eyes to make sure they respected the people around them. Once the songs ended, lost items would be found and the band would immediately pause to address the crowd. There was clear communication and understanding between the band and the crowd, which made the chemistry palpable.
There was thick air above us, heavy with feeling and breath, which our bodies moved through to every sound that came off that stage. It was like we were feeding each other, energy, and exactly everything we wanted to let out into the air. I had never experienced such intense catharsis from the band, the audience, from myself. I didn’t hold back from moving my body and screaming the lyrics, and nothing held me back, I was just being held by everything around me. People watched out for your well-being in the crowd, respected your space, and the band worked with you to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. It was a mutual exchange as everyone ended the show all in one piece and for me, a greater peace of mind. I had never attended a show that made me feel so secure in my place in the crowd. I knew that I could trust the people around me, and more importantly the band on stage. Destroy Boys is creating revolution in the punk/rock scene. As someone who grew up in the Bay Area where the punk scene is booming and can be all too problematic with issues of abuse and death, Destroy Boys is giving younger crowds the right things to look forward to. They are creating liberated, safe spaces for everyone to enjoy and let go of all the noise in their lives.