Posts Tagged ‘Slam Dance’

One does not simply waltz into a mosh pit and expect to not get hit. In most types of rock music, a live concert almost always involves some sort of a mosh pit. Depending on the genre, the mosh pit adopts different movements and actions. Harder genres like metal sees more unorganized movements with pushing, elbowing, and arm flailing. Modern hardcore involves a lot of jumping on or over people, as far as I have observed. Punk rock and ska involve a circle pit of either slam dancing or skanking, respectively. For now, we shall focus on slam dancing, and its importance to the history of punk rock. In the early years of punk rock, slam dancing merely involved moving, typically in a circle, and slamming into others in the pit. Those in the pit expected to get pushed around and even knocked down, only to get picked up, shrug it off, and continue slam dancing. True slam dancing has toned down significantly since those days, since most kids nowadays cannot take a solid hit without crying about it. However, a show in East LA last week aimed to celebrate the slam dance by booking bands prevalent in local street punk, the genre known for the most brutal slam dance pits.

The Slam Dance Fest wrapped up the end of May with a show originally containing 20 bands booked. This 7+ hour show at The Airliner in East LA brought street punk bands from all over Southern California to play this crazy show at a venue containing two stages – one on the main floor, and one upstairs. For an old building, the walls contained enough insulation to block out the sound between the two rooms. Although the bill contained 20 bands, only 11 bands ever played this show. The other nine bands (Testicle Difficulties, Short Temper, Child Abduction, Corrupted Youth, Underground Alliance, The Runts, The DiPS, Infirmities, and RF7) failed to adhere to the 18 & over rule by forgetting to bring ID’s. Looking back, this also prevented many of the bands’ fans from attending this show, as a lot of the kids did not have an ID, as I observed them all standing outside the venue as I entered. All the bands that played all played the loudest, angriest show they could muster up.

A band called Desastre opened the night, playing to a very light crowd. I actually had not arrived at the venue until the next band, so I completely missed Desastre.

I arrived at the venue during Slow Children‘s set. As I entered, I immediately recognized them from a show I attended back in February. They kept up the same energy as they did at that show. As the night had not truly started, they played to no more than ten people in the room. I still believe they deserve a larger audience, as they have a great sound, more than just a typical garage band.

Although the show’s organizer originally booked Hollywood Hate to play later in the night, no other band had arrived to set up for the next show, whereas Hollywood Hate had all already arrived at the venue. As a result, they decided to play following Slow Children. Much like the last show I saw them at, their set contained fast and angry songs designed to motivate the crowd into entering a berserker frenzy. Their reputation as a hard-hitting band preceded them, as I encountered many people from the last show at this one. After all, once you go to enough shows, you start to recognize other fans. However, once their set ended, their night would not – more on this in a bit.

Age of Fear opened the upstairs stage. This new local band played their first show only a month prior, so they never even officially made it onto the show’s lineup until very recently. They ended up playing a rather short set because the lead vocalist broke a guitar string. Their music sounds like a mix of street punk and anarchy punk, with lots of loud and angry hits. This upstairs stage contained significantly more space to move around in compared to the downstairs stage, so Age of Fear actually managed to incite a pit, albeit a small one.

As mentioned above, the night would not end for some of Hollywood Hate’s members. A rare treat for LA, Last Round Up played next in the downstairs stage. Although they arrived shorthanded, they received assistance in the form of Chris and Suzy from Hollywood Hate, filling in on bass and drums, respectively. Last Round Up carries the similar loud, fast, and angry sound of Hollywood Hate, but with their own personal take on the music, which ends up slightly catchy as long as you can wrap your head around the slam dancing going on in the tiny space in front of a small stage. With the night finally in full motion, bands now played back to back alternating between the stages.

Once I stepped upstairs for the next band, I knew I had gotten more than my money’s worth when I witnessed familiar faces that I had not seen in a decade. Much like with my recent discovery of the return of Destruction Made Simple, I pumped myself up for the first All Out Attak show since my high school days. This rad female-fronted metal-punk band from Wilmington used to rock backyards back in the day with other local bands like Just Like Before. After that, they just disappeared from the local music scene. However, they recently made a comeback starting in March, and I now know that I can relive my teenage punk youth vicariously through All Out Attak. As a Slam Dance Fest, All Out Attak truly represents an icon in slam dancing, as they play fast and loud enough that large pits may not even keep up. Their set list included plenty of older songs, and since I listened to their CD so much in high school and college, I sang along to some of the songs. “Screams” vocalist Vanessa saw me and allowed me some mic time on some of their songs. I may have killed my voice during the set, but how often can you rock out with a significant band that you had not seen in years?

Whomever the organizers planned to play downstairs at this time did not show up, and neither did the subsequent bands for the downstairs stage. This allowed for some downtime until Evacuate could start their set. If the vocalist looks familiar, recall the famous bands The Virus and Cheap Sex. Take their lead vocalist, and place him in a new local band called Evacuate. The intensity in the room slowly escalated throughout the set, starting from a minor pit and evolving into a full-blown violent mess. Evacuate even had to stop mid-song because of the massive fight that erupted in the room. I had not witnessed a full stop to a song since T.S.O.L. at Musink when they stopped after people started recording a fight on their phones. Regardless, Evacuate played a hard and furious set, enough to please all punk fans, and especially The Virus and Cheap Sex fans.

Continuing upstairs, Decry made a rare appearance in Los Angeles to play at Slam Dance Fest. As one of the oldest bands to play this night, much of the crowd consisted of adults by now, as opposed to teenagers and young adults. The crowd did seem to whittle down following Evacuate – a shame, since Decry has stuck around the punk rock industry since the 1980’s and deserves everyone’s attention. Decry plays music like a UK punk band. Imagine a band like One Way System, then tone down the screams, and you have Decry. As the last of the night’s main headliners, only the sub-headliners and small font bands remained.

The downstairs stage now had a band fully set up, so Hari Kari wasted no time getting started with their set, as they started well after midnight. Hari Kari mainly played cover songs, a strange behavior for a band with so much history. As another band that started in the 1980’s, Hari Kari could have played an entire set of original songs, so playing a set of mainly cover songs struck me as peculiar. However, because they started so late, Hari Kari had to cut their set shorter than normal. The rest of the bands following Hari Kari would also have to greatly cut their sets due to time constraints.

As the last band to grace the upstairs stage, Civil Disgust played to a nearly empty room, as most of the crowd had left following Evacuate and Decry. Because they started so late in the night, Civil Disgust only had time for a few songs, so they picked their fastest, most offensive songs to give the crowd something to remember. Civil Disgust plays old school punk rock music, reminding us all about the glory days of punk rock when fans accepted slam dancing and never got butt-hurt about getting pushed. Sadly, they only played for no more than ten minutes, which would occur to the next band as well.

The UNDead Kennedys closed out the night with their tribute set to the Dead Kennedys. They would have played a handful of popular Dead Kennedys songs, but because they started after 1:30am, the venue only allowed them to play two songs. The UNDead Kennedys resemble a band for entertainment and amusement rather than slam dancing, so they appeared out of place for Slam Dance Fest. That did not prevent the remaining member of the crowd from attempting to slam dance in this small downstairs area.

Missed this epic night of punk rock? You can still catch a weekend full of punk rock and rockabilly at the 2013 Ink-N-Iron Fest this weekend in Long Beach. This weekend contains plenty of local punk rock shows, including the Full Eight Fest. Keep an eye out for my Upcoming Events post next Monday, as the following week contains lots of punk rock shows as well.


Get Porked
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 29
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach

Love BBQ and/or pork? Then you cannot miss this one-time dinner event! LA Foodie will record a live podcast during dinner speaking about styles of BBQ and the beers that pair with them. Dinner starts promptly at 8pm, which consists of four carefully crafted pork courses, four 5oz beer pairings, and four dessert pairings. Attendees also receive lots of other goodies to take home. Guests may park in the parking structure behind Beachwood Brewing for up to three hours with validation from the restaurant. No one under 21 may attend. Tickets normally cost $40, but use the promo code newsletter to save $10!

The Business @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 30
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Catch a punk rock show headlined by UK punk band The Business this Thursday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $13.

Slam Dance Fest
5:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 31
The Airliner, Los Angeles

Kick May in the nads with this end-of-the-month punk rock fest in Los Angeles. With over 15 bands playing across two stages plus live DJ’s, expect one rowdy and unforgettable time. Tickets only cost $6 presale and $8 at the door! The venue will contain a food vendor, a cash bar, and other merchandise vendors. No one under 18 may enter.

Brea SummerFest 2013
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, May 31
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 1
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 2
St. Angela Merici School, Brea

Brea brings all of the elements of a state fair into one weekend with their annual SummerFest. Find food, rides, live entertainment, games, vendors, and more at this weekend-long fair for the entire family. Guests may enter and park for free – please adhere all signs for parking and entering the fest.

Pacific Islander Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 1-2
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

Explore the cultures of the Pacific Islands all weekend at the Aquarium of the Pacific. For just the price of the aquarium’s general admission, guests of all ages will experience music, dancing, arts & crafts, ethnic cuisines, educational programming, storytelling, artisans, and more. Parking at the adjacent parking structure ranges from $5 to $10. The local Passport bus operates for free, so guests may ride public transportation to save money.

5th Annual Downtown Pomona Community Car & Bike Show
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 1
Thomas Plaza, Downtown Pomona

Check out custom & vintage cars & motorcycles at this community auto show in Downtown Pomona this Saturday afternoon. Free to attend for all ages, any profit or money made from this event via participants and vendors go towards local charities benefiting underprivileged children. Some of the nearby streets provide free parking, while parking lots west of Main St cost nothing to park in.

The Ultimate Radio Control Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 1
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 2
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach

Check out this expo for remote control toys and gadgets as you relive your adolescent life playing with portable mobile vehicles. With plenty of remote control cars, boats, planes, helicopters, and more, guests of all ages will find many attractions to check out. Admission costs $10 presale and $15 at the door, while children get in free with paid adult admission. Parking at the convention center ranges from $5 to $10, or you may park on the street in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

22nd Annual Santa Monica Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 1
Clover Park, Santa Monica

Free and open to all ages, this festival in Santa Monica celebrates the local community with family activities, live music, dancing, arts & crafts, vendors, food trucks, cooking demos, and more. Guests can park for free at the location.

Make Music Pasadena
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, June 1
Old Town Pasadena, Downtown Pasadena

This FREE and all-ages music festival completely covers the streets of Downtown Pasadena. All day long, guests can catch over 150 free concerts from dozens of local bands, including Youngblood Hawke, and other bands that have traveled from afar to play here. Local long-term parking may cost quite a bit, so opt to park further and take public transportation to cut down on costs.

Balls For Balls 2013
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, June 1
The Mezz Bar, Alexandria Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles

In a nutshell, gather a team to competitively eat meatballs for charity. The winning team does take a cash prize home. A team of four enters for $60, while individuals enter for $20 and get placed in a random team as a filler. Spectators may enter and watch for free.

1st Annual Long Beach Sea Festival Kickoff Extravaganza
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 1
Marina Green Park, Long Beach

This FREE event kicks off the summer series of festivals, as it previews all upcoming festivals that make up the season-long Sea Festival. Guests of all ages will find food trucks, live music, arts & crafts, jumpers, and more. After sunset, bring out the beach chairs and blankets for a free viewing of Finding Nemo on the beach.

AutoCon Los Angeles
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 1
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia

See hundreds of classic, custom, and exotic cars this Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Guests will also find beautiful models, food trucks, and plenty of automotive vendors to spend money on. General admission costs $12, while expedited admission costs $17. Children enter free with a paid adult admission. Please bring cash for parking at the venue. The event takes place outdoors, so dress accordingly for the hot weather, and apply sunscreen.

Lumière Noir: A Higher Frequency
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, June 1
Proof Bar, Santa Ana

This collaborative art project involves various models to create living art in ultraviolet light, or blacklight. Free to attend, attendees will see art, photography, videos, live nude body-painting, and more. As this takes place at a bar, attendees may purchase drinks at their leisure, but no one under 21 may enter.

FotoSensori – ​A Multi-Dimensional Photography Group Show & Fundraiser
6:30 pm – 12:00 am, June 1
Monk Space, Los Angeles

This atypical art & photography show showcases more than just art – it utilizes all five of the human senses to experience and absorb the art. Over ten photographers will collaborate to present this diverse exhibit to all attendees. Throughout the night, local bands and DJ’s will fill the air with feet-moving beats, while attendees may purchase dumplings or vegan cupcakes to munch on. Attendees can find plenty of free street parking in the nearby neighborhoods. Although the organizers have not enforced an entry fee, they suggest a $15 donation at the door.

16th Annual SoRo Community Festival
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 2
Robertson & Cattaraugus, Los Angeles

This FREE and all-ages street fair takes place in West LA between Culver City and Beverly Hills. Attendees will find live music, a kids’ zone including rock-climbing, arts & crafts, food trucks, and more. Guests can park for free in the neighborhoods surrounding the fest.

Spring 2013 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival – Long Beach
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 2
Marine Stadium, Long Beach

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at multiple locations. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. The surrounding neighborhoods contain plenty of free street parking.

29th Annual Tustin Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off
11:00 am – 5:30 pm, June 2
Old Town Tustin

Once again taking over the streets of Old Town Tustin, this FREE street fair contains lots of activities to keep the entire family busy and full the entire day. Attendees will find arts & crafts, live entertainment, merchandise vendors, kids’ area, the multitude of chili teams, and much more. This event gets highly crowded each year, and w3hile it requires no admission to enter, guests will end up parking on city streets a few blocks away. To sample chili, guests must purchase tickets for $2 each, and redeem these tickets at the chili teams for samples.

8th Annual Lummis Day Festival
10:30 am – 7:00 pm, June 2
Heritage Square Museum, Northeast Los Angeles

Catch music, dance, poetry, art, and more at this free multicultural festival this Sunday afternoon in Northeast LA. Guests may park for free at the venue.

Chicks That Rock
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 2
Billy O’s, Ventura

Five female-fronted bands will play at this show in Ventura this Sunday afternoon. Tickets to this show cost $7. No one under 21 may attend.

11th Annual Taste of Alhambra
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 2
2nd & Main, Downtown Alhambra,com_eventlist/Itemid,49/func,details/did,37/

Savor the local flavor of Alhambra at this annual all-you-can-eat food fest on the streets of Downtown Alhambra this Sunday evening. For $50 presale and $60 at the gate, guests 21 and over will receive unlimited food samples from various Alhambra restaurants and unlimited drinks from local establishments. Guests may park for free in nearby parking structures.