A Very White (Drugs) Christmas

The first night of White (Drugs) Christmas kicked off with a bang. Sharp/Shock led off, the Brit punks playing enthusiastically and charismatically, doing a fair job of warming up the crowd and giving a ton of props to hardcore-scene-darlings Culture Abuse, who were to follow them. Despite sound issues at the end of their set, the band played admirably, literally leaving blood on the floor.

Culture Abuse were up next and holy hell does that band rip. From the grunge-heavy melodies, fuzzed-out and turned up, to the growled lyrics and enthusiastic crowd participation, everything about Culture Abuse's performance was absolutely on point. For a band who's release i very much enjoy, but havn't really embraced fully, the newly-signed Epitaph band has cemented themselves as a modest favorite.

It is really tough to contend with the Bronx, however. The punk rock veterans bring the house down at every single show like a fully loaded demolition crew; leaping into the crowd in full santa gear and never leaving the slam pit. Theirs is a blistering, frenetic set that grabs you by the throat and never lets up.

Night two was a bit of a later start. I arrived as The Bolos were finishing up their set of punkish country. They were a lot of fun, particularly when their songs picked up the harder punk gallop of their influences.

This crowd was also older and more subdued than the previous night, but Mariachi El Bronx walked out to a rousing cheer. It occured to me just how much this band truly loves this music. Mariachi El Bronx manages to completely eschew any possibility of allegations of appropriation simply because it is so clear that everything the band does is such a clear homage to this genre.