Maybe one of the most fun shows of the year was this show, the last of the five days of The Go! Go!, a new Oakland music concert series/festival put on by 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. The previous days before featured many local Bay Area bands, with the likes of Ceremony and The Avengers. It was no surprise that the final day included a fairly large slathering of Bay Area punk, including Shannon and The Clams, King Lollipop, and The Bobbyteens. King Tuff came on prior to Hunx and His Punx taking the stage. The crowd was amped all night, but King Tuff’s set was the first to see crowd surfers and stage divers. A strong base of King Tuff fans made their way to the front for some solid sing-along time alongside some of the best guitar shredding of the night. My personal favorite part of the night was King Tuff’s bassist. That man has fingers of steel.
The night’s main event of Hunx and His Punx was no slouch. Seth Bogart, or Hunx as the name protests, began the evening announcing two extremely important facts: 1) one of his mothers was attending the show (she was extremely cute!) and 2) Bogart was very drunk. This of course makes complete sense as The New Parish in Oakland is more along the lines of a bar and club which features live music nightly — not necessarily the converted warehouse or industrial workspace with a stage set up you would normally find a 6-band punk bill. “Swanky” would be a word to aptly describe this place. As one staff member emoted to me in the designated smoking atrium, we have assets to protect. It’s not just from you guys, but from everyone. Yeah, you guys was the term. The punks. The icky slimy smelly no-good East Bay punks that just drank all of your whiskey and made you refill your free water tanks all night. That’s you guys.
Hunx, along with King Tuff, played to a crowd that seemed to only have their energy increase all the way throughout the night. Usually, there’s that one band on a massive punk bill that just moves the shit out of the entire crowd and by the time the band you want to see comes on, you’re spent. This show was nothing like that. Every single band had great movement throughout the entire set. Even The Bobbyteens, a relatively new band with the smallest fan base of the night, had a good amount of the crowd moving. Hunx and his Punx really let it loose though. The cult crowd screamed every word, seemingly. Pause for a quick food fight and random murmurs about how drunk Bogart was during the set — and another pause for Bogart literally wiping his ass with a person’s Android phone — the entire set was all energy. I had really no clue as to where these kids were getting this energy, as The New Parish is not the most well-ventilated venue in the Bay. It may be one of the worst, with the second level getting extremely stuffy and warm, and the pit obviously soaking in the sweat of a sold out punk show. The only real air some people got was the second-hand-smoke-occupied atrium air. Makes sense why those water tanks were refilled so many times.
The bill’s 6 bands pushed the show to around 1 am, which a handful of staffers grumbled at. The food fight — more of a bowl of snacks fight — stirred up faces best described as this emoticon: >:|. I’m sure the people of the night over on MLK Jr. Drive weren’t too happy seeing a sidewalk full of punks walking down their corners (I know I got a decent stare down from a pimp).
Overall, I would say Hunx really did steal the show, with all the drunk escapades included. King Tuff easily a solid second place choice for the sheer shredding alone. A great find was King Lollipop. Love the punk drum line — love the vocals.
It’s easy enough to predict this The Go! Go! Festival being a staple of the East Bay in time. If all the shows were as wildly successful as this one (which… I can only imagine they all sold out) then I can’t see this going away any time soon.
Much thanks to Graeme at Life X Death PR and Jason at Hardly Art for the access! And to Seth for being a sweetheart before the show.