Punk Rock Christmas: Not your typical holiday show

Full house for Christmas punk show at Will's Pub with Neat Freak, Bear Trap, Penetrode and Knifehits on Dec. 25, 2013.
Full house for Christmas punk show at Uncle Lou’s with Neat Freak, Bear Trap, Penetrode and Knifehits on Dec. 25, 2013.

The number one rule in the pit: Always help a brother, or sister, out!. Or whatever the hell it is, regardless of what you look like, you’re getting back the fuck in there!

Five bands came from different states (of mind) to find familiarity with their fervent  family on Christmas to Orlando, Fla. Sets were short to appease the ADD kids double-fisting PBRs and (no handedly) smoking cigarettes all while the nutso guitar riffs and snare crashing mayhem brought SLC Punk live in the flesh right before our eyes.

Orlando-based punk band Neat Freak, opened up for the show. Not only do all three members share roles on the vocals, frontman Duffy even allowed the occasional audience member the chance to scream into the mic.

Penetrode came all the way home from Philly. Guitarist Jake Smith said it seemed like it’d be fun, so entire band played again reassembled as Knifehits later on. There were plenty of legs flailing about in the air as the punk rock show at Uncle Lou’s reached it’s peak. Lou, himself, saw the show while he casually leaned against the bar.

Through gold teeth he confessed he likes punk: “I like everything. I’m universal,” but it almost sounded like he said “universile,” to me. It could’ve been a ringing in my ears caused by the static from amp feedback in between sets, but he definitely had a smile on his face tonight.

During the first two bands the crowd wasn’t too enthused about sharing the merriment of the holiday, but when Direct Effect took over, singer Jeff Fonseca made love to the microphone and one man’s sweat became another guy’s catalyst as crowd surfers became intimate with the ceiling tiles. Punk turned metal when a walking stick with hair led us into a world of screamo replete with double kicks and charred vocals.

“I like the energy of the crowd, there’s a good vibe here. I’ve been to a ton of shows and this is one of the better ones,” said Gabe Monje, a fellow punk rock enthusiast.

Bear Trap, from Boston, boasted about their love for the location of the show. “Boston sucks, the weather sucks, the people suck,” he said. “You don’t want to live there.”

Ideas for mashup CDs, with a sense of irony.
Ideas for mashup CDs, with a sense of irony.

Chris, who is traveling with the band found a stack of CDs outside, handed them out during the show as memoirs for the occasion.

Does he enjoy being cooped up in a tiny van with a bunch of other equally-smelly dudes, going from state to state to play punk rock shows? “We all just work too much. This is a nice loop from reality,” he said.

After all the pushing and shoving and rolling around of bodies making this ever-shifting sea of mayhem coming to a head, the lead singer of Knife Hits, Ben,  gave a shout out to his grandma as being one of the most powerful women in his life. Aw, how touching… now, let’s see some action! Banging out a plummeting drum beat, Jon O. lead the cultish cadence into a frenzy of baby-making mosh for his friends in the pit, heating up the small venue against the 58 degree weather outside. Bodily fluids and all the booze you can drink carpeted the floor as guys grabbed their heads in a mix of punk passion begging for more.

Artwork unlike anything you're likely to see on the wall of a venue in Orlando.
Artwork unlike anything you’re likely to see on the wall of a venue in Orlando.

“This is my style, everyone’s uncomfortably close,” Jon O. said. “There are such strong variables, everyone’s having a good time. It’s nice to look up and see all these faces.” By the end of the set, he was recouping outside stripped down to his boxers, letting his tattoo-draped pores take in the crisp Winter (if you can call it Winter in Florida) air.

Check out the original article published on Headbang ‘n’ Buttonmash for exclusive access to songs and their own Knifehits video from the Christmas Punx show. 

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