I truly did get my punk rock fix last Saturday night. It was a stacked bill (five bands at the tiny Dojo), but everyone had epic ambitions that night.
Giant Giant Robot played a solid set of post-Dillinger Four pop-punk; meaning that it was loud, rowdy, catch and aggressive. Forget bands like Green Day, Blink 182, New Found Glory and Fall Out Boy. When bands affiliate themselves with the tag "pop-punk" these days, they're usually rallying behind the Dillinger Four banner... and GGR is no exception.
Next up, Mixtapes flew the post-D4 flag, but spiced it up with dude/chick tag-team vocals. Hailing from Cincinnati, the aspiring four-piece has a lot to offer and a lot of potential.
Shit REALLY got rolling when Michigan City, IN quartet Grown Ups started playing. Despite having ALL their gear stolen in Bloomington the night before (shame on Bloomington!), the band played like pros on borrowed gear. The all-too-short set featured their best performance in the Circle City EVER. Songs like "Weed Science" and "Open Sesame" shook the humble walls of the Dojo like an earthquake.
Despite the fact that they weren't headlining, Cincinnati favorites The Dopamines took advantage of all the drunken dispositions of the crowd (the notion of the "Car Bar" is growing) and played the rowdiest set imaginable. The band reached deep into their back catalogue and played "Try This Kids at Home" (from an obscure 7") and "Public Domain" (the 'hit single ' off of their most recent album) and elicited a riotous response from the secretly inebriated crowd. While the whole set was solid gold, the cherry-on-top was the fantastically delivered "It Couldn't Really Be Any Other (We'll Fuck You Like Superman)". The sing-a-long possibilities for that song are astronomical.
The final act of the evening was the Minneapolis power-house Banner Pilot. Their overtly D4-sound played well into the crowds already drunken eardrums. They ripped through gems from their last two albums "Resignation Day" and "Collapser" like the songs were their children. It was an awesome show and gave hope to the local music scene that The Dojo would strive to bring regional and national bands of value to the city, especially when the E.S. Jungle had failed so badly.