If you thought raw punk rock was a thing of the past, you were wrong.
Surfbort is keeping the chaotic spirit of punk alive. Their shows feature flying bodies, bloody noses and wall-to-wall smiles. Their songs are short and sweet bursts of tuneful noise. Ballads? Don’t make me laugh. Surfbort is all about the gritty shout-alongs, where frontwoman Dani Miller prowls the stage before leaping into the crowd while yelling as quick and as guttural as she can.
This night at Baby’s All Right was no different.
While it wasn’t officially a Halloween show (but was officially presented by Dr. Martens), lots of people came in costume. There were some Bozo the Clowns, an Edward Scissorhands and even a Richard Nixon. And seeing a Richard Nixon head bopping around a crowd of misfits during Surfbort’s song “45,” a big fuck you to Trump, was a beautiful sight.
The evening kicked off with an open bar. By the time Fascinator took the stage, everyone was ready to rumble. Though Fascinator’s vibe isn’t as fast and grungy as the other bands on the bill, it was a perfect intro to the night. His dark electronic beats got people moving and grooving, while his energy on stage prepared everyone for a night of mayhem.
When Gnarcissists took the stage no one was safe.
A mosh pit gathered into a tornado of sweaty punks and costumed creatures of the night. The room reeked of body odor and it felt like everyone was fighting to get their eardrums blown out. Photographers who lined the stage knew they were in the danger zone and happily (or helplessly?) played along in the pit. They let me and everyone else leap fall over them to scream along with the frontman and thrash around. Their fast and furious music brought the animal out of everyone. The frontman screamed, “we all wanna live in New York City, we all just wanna get by/high” while he leapt off the stage to mosh with friends or writhe on the ground.
When Gnarcissists ended, everyone in was ravenous for more. If there weren’t two punk bands about to go on, there would’ve been a riot.
Ruby Trademark was next. The frontwoman marched on stage in tighty whities, a white bustier and long white silk gloves lined with fringe. These guys sound a little more ‘80s post-punk, rather than the classic ‘70s grit Gnarcissists brought and Surfbort is known for. The synth eerily played along to a drum machine paired with live drums and vocals unnerving and threatening, bringing out the dark and angst side of everyone in the room. It wasn’t just moshing for Ruby Trademark, but the perfect Halloween thrashers to get everyone in the spooky mood.
When Surfbort finally took the stage the, venue was packed and steamy hot. “It feels like my wedding day,” Surfbort frontwoman Miller shouted into the mic once they started. It was like we were all the VIPs to Satan’s Halloween wedding and Surfbort was the guest of honor.
These guys are all about being true to yourself and preaching the importance of acceptance and friendship. Their punk songs areast and hardcore—they even have a love song (“Slushy”) that ends on the screamed out line, “get the fuck out of my house.” But somehow, Surfbort is able to create a welcoming vibe and make everyone in the building feel like their BFF.
Miller jumped into the crowd, pointed the mic to others to sing along and crowd surfed the wave of pogoing arms flailing in the air. “I love you all,” she shouted before the set ended. The strict curfew made it impossible for an encore but nobody left the venue that night feeling unsatisfied.