My First Punk Show

As I've mentioned before, the first punk show I ever attended was Tiger Trap, Cupid Car Club, and Slant 6 in Sacramento, CA. It was the summer of 1993 (July, I think) and I was 17 years old. Prior to that show I had been into labels like Sub Pop and Rough Trade but I had never been to a club show. I didn't know I was entering a new world and a new way of life just by going to a club show. It was especially jarring since up to that point nearly every show I had attended was at an arena or amphitheater with 10,000 or more people. This was a small club with probably 150 people in attendance and that might be pushing it.

I roped some friends into going to the show. We made our way to the outskirts of downtown - a somewhat foreign land to suburban me. None of us knew what to expect since we hadn't heard of these other bands. I was pretty excited when Slant 6 took the stage and they were three girls. I was definitely a riot grrrl/feminist at heart even if I didn't know the terminology yet. They were so rad looking - totally cool with an air of hipness unknown to me in suburbia. I was practically intimidated just by looking at them. Then they started playing and the songs were fantastic... simple yet powerful and catchy but still punk. They were blowing my mind. When I started working at a record store the next year I flipped out when I saw their debut album Soda Pop * Rip Off in the bin and bought it and put it on right away. Instantly made fans out of my co-workers. I would later learn about Christina Billotte being in Autoclave and bought that stuff up to. She's had a rich history since then with Quix*O*Tic and the Casual Dots. However, for me, Slant 6 will always have my heart.
Time Expired

After Slant 6 played there was a short break (not like an arena show at all!) and Cupid Car Club took the stage. Almost instantly I thought their singer looked familiar. When Tiger Trap took the stage Rose Melberg said something about Ian Svenonious being Sassy Magazines Sassiest Boy In America a couple of years prior. A ha! I remembered him! Awesome! Maybe I was more cut out to go to punk shows than I had originally thought. Anyway, I had certainly never experienced anything like Cupid Car Club before in my life. Energy and madness and..... FUN! I felt like I was witnessing something spectacular. I remember thinking to myself that I didn't know a show could be so crazed with passion. I was getting off on the energy. I wanted to go to shows like this all the time. Where the bands might not be making millions but were doing it because they felt like they had to. I walked out of the club that night a convert. I did my research on Mr. Svenonious and learned about his storied history as well and got into Nation Of Ulysses. I saw his later bands (The Make Up and Weird War) but didn't really enjoy the shtick. Cupid Car Club was short lived but pure.
Grape Juice Plus


downtown guy said...

I took a 17 year old budding punk fan to his first real show this weekend, in a local warehouse space. Just some town bands, but the look on his face when another kid threw an arm over his shoulder and dragged him into the pogo pit was really great to see. By the time we left, he had a couple new friends and was asking me when the next show is going to be.

It reminded me what I fell in love with all those years ago.

®™ said...

i think i need to meet some kids who need music guidance. i would love to see that look on a kids face. i hadn't thought about the feelings associated with that show in a long time. it's a nice memory to have.

izzzy said...

this is my dream show!

®™ said...

unfortunately i missed the tiger trap /fugazi show a year earlier. apparently tiger trap were so nervous that at least one of them threw up backstage!