Attending our second night at Noisepop, DJ Frenzy and I were eager to catch the essential Bay Area four-piece punk/rock band Destroy Boys. The previous night we desperately tried to […]
Attending our second night at Noisepop, DJ Frenzy and I were 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 to catch our train. So we set on Destroy Boys for giving us our mosh-crazy, thrashing rock fix. Which is precisely 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 focus on non-consensual, boundary-pushing disappointments. This song immediately struck me as I felt my internally-reserved feelings stirring within me and begging for more action. The fate of my aggression lay on the hard kicks of Ethan Knight and the 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 thoughts, was 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 DJ Frenzy and I 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 were 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 would finally receive closure. Younger faces in the group made me question if it was the right place for them, but it then proved that it was precisely where they needed to be. The room was livid with playful aggressiveness as Gym Shorts continued with the next set. Their spitting image of rebellion and child-like themes got the crowd correctly riled up. And as things were escalating a bit, I was afraid that it would be unbearable when 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. This is precisely 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 on their face and careful eyes to ensure 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 group, 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 everything we wanted to let 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; 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 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 I could trust the people around me and, more importantly, the band on stage. Destroy Boys is creating a 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 accessible, safe spaces for everyone to enjoy and let go of all the noise in their lives.
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