It was never an alcohol thing. I rarely drank in high school (and my geeky self was never invited to the cool-kid parties). It was purely for music.
Sure, they got 99.9 percent of the national acts, but we had a great local scene in the South Sound. We could see those local bands at the various art and music festivals around the city, but there were many venues open to minors, such as The Viaduct, Club Impact and (for early shows and national acts)
After I moved to
Now that I'm 23 and can go to bar shows, I still find myself longing for more all-ages shows here in the valley.
I'm not knocking bar shows. You can go see some amazing bands and have a great time. What I am saying is that there's a different vibe at those types of shows, and my preference leans toward the all-ages vibe.
The weekend before last, I was able to see that division between those two kinds of shows much more clearly when I attended both types in
The problem was, of the 10 people in the bar, I seemed to be the only one who cared.
When you've got a bar show, especially one where there is no cover charge, the majority of the people in the audience are there only to drink and socialize. They don't care that there's a band and, suddenly, a live performance can become background music.
Jump forward to
There were about as many people there as were at Paddy Brannan's, maybe one or two fewer, but they were all attentive to what was happening up on the stage. Once KRAMER finished their set, these kids flooded the merch table to support this band who entertained them for the last 45 minutes.
As a music fan, that's the show I'd rather go to, and it's the show the bands would rather play.
When I interviewed
"Steve, the bass player, came down off the stage and said, 'Man, I want to quit playing the bars. That's what I want to play for,' " Nelson related.
Now, I'm not saying that all 21-and-older shows are like this --
What I'm saying is that when kids go to all-ages shows, they don't have any ulterior motives. They aren't there to drink because the bartender won't let them near the bar. They socialize, but they do so in between bands.
What started out as one or two Saturdays a month open to those who are underage, now has expanded a bit.
When I was underage, "Hey, want to go to a punk show at
Specifically looking at
That's other reason I love all-ages shows is because I get to see the next generation pick up the torch for the music.
I recently watched a video where a dad took his 6-year-old son to see his first punk show, and it warmed my heart. He had so much excitement on his face when he got to see Iron Chic live, and when I see these kids rocking out at the all-ages shows, it makes me excited for the future of the genres that I love so much.
People keep saying that punk is dead, but it never will be as long as the kids have a place to truly be fans of the music.
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