Skateboard, art, and punk rock fans collided last Saturday night during the monthly Downtown Pomona Art Walk, as Hurt Life Skateboards presented a two-part event consisting of an all-ages art gallery followed by a punk rock show for the adults out late. As a part of the art walk, the gallery saw hundreds of visitors throughout the night. The after-party took place at Characters Sports Bar, where some local bands would perform a punk rock show. Two of the originally-scheduled bands could not make it out, leaving for a night with just three and a half bands. What does a half band look like? See below.
Taking the place of the two bands that could not make it, Ukelele Hiro delighted all the attendees with his creative covers of classic punk and ska songs. This one-man band, armed with his ukelele and kazoo, easily rallied the attention of everyone present, covering songs like The 11th Hour by Rancid and Knowledge by Operation Ivy. I like that he has a gritty, grungy voice like that of many punk rock vocalists. He even distributed free CD’s after his brief set to the crowd. If you enjoy covers of classic punk and ska songs, check out this guy and his work.
The first full band of the night, Bodegas, got on stage not too long after Ukelele Hiro. Bodegas played a mixture of different genres throughout their set. While their music carries a punk rock foundation, you can hear elements of reggae, alternative, progressive rock, metal, and more. They got some of the crowd up on their feet dancing, but no pit ever started for these guys.
The next band would finally get a pit going, as The Disgustingtons brought the night back on the punk rock track. You know you had a good time when you do not remember much of the set. The Disgustingtons play a hard set, coming across almost as a hardcore punk band like that of some east coast bands, but not as hard as post hardcore bands. As a Los Angeles band, I have had opportunities to see them before in the past, and I know now to look out for them in upcoming shows.
The headliners of the night, Whitekaps, got to start performing to a near-full venue. As an old-school punk bands that started in the 1980’s, you can bet they always attract a huge crowd wherever they travel. as well as plenty of new fans. Their set list has not deviated much from past performances, containing staples like American Dream, Girl In The Pit (traditionally, only girls in the pit during this song), Salad Days, and ending with Get Beer. But when your set list works to your performance, why alter it? Ukelele Hiro even made a cameo appearance during the song Bad Bone to help play and sing. Whitekaps does more than just perform music – they entertain. Fans do more than just listen to music at a Whitekaps show – they enjoy the characters and the comedy of the band members’ actions.
I will go on record of saying that Whitekaps deserves a spot in a list of bands that any punk rock fan must see when visiting Southern California. Whitekaps plays shows quite often, so check out their Facebook page, give them a Like, check out their music, and attend an upcoming show. Check out the Facebook pages of all the other bands from this show too!