Pop punk can die happy now that this show happened.
The epic lineup of Dentist, Dinowalrus, Fruit & Flowers and Thick hinted that the show would break pop punk boundaries. Goodbye to the days of angsty skater boys taking over the mosh pit and taking advantage of young girls (I’m looking at you, Warped Tour). Say hello to angsty girls who won’t stand for your shit.
New Jersey-based Dentist was up first, so I couldn’t be my usual fashionably late self. I got there while the girls of Thick advised a boy on flirty texting. They debated about the use of a question mark while we all stocked up on free vodka drinks (courtesy of Dr. Martens).
While we all finished our second or third drink and cheered on the guy as he texted, Dentist took the stage.
The trio specializes bubbly pop punk riffs that rattle the bones and warms the heart. They’ve been around for years, but haven’t played NYC in months. The moment Dentist frontwoman Emily Bornemann’s bleach-blonde pixie haircut and bright pink babydoll dress appeared on stage to sing about lovers fighting and feeling lonely with sweet and high-pitched voice the room filled up. The band’s energy shot out like lightening. Bornermann fell to her knees, rocking out on the bass and joining the drummer and guitarist raging along to the tunes.
Dinowalrus brought a dreamier side of pop punk to the evening with synth-heavy melodies and harmonized vocals. Their tunes were a refreshing break from the twister of a mosh pit that started during Dentist. With their rhythmically intricate hits like “The Gift Shop,” Dinowalrus had bodies swaying and dancing instead of careening into each other.
When Fruit & Flowers went on, pogoing started up again. Pop punk with a kick, Fruit & Flowers combines sultry harmonized vocals and saxophone with punk rock riffs for a post-punk approach to pop punk. While they shredded and thrashed around on stage, the audience seemed to know every word. Everywhere I looked mouths were moving in time to the music as people shouted along to catchy choruses like, “out of touch, love you so much, we were kids/ out of touch, I couldn’t make you mine, you’ll be missed.”
Soon enough, the crowd was ready to go crazy for Thick.
Kicking of their set with the ultimate power femme tracks “Mansplain” and “Bleeding,” Thick set the stage for all the bad bitches to take over the night. I wasn’t the only girl getting dirty. Long locks whipped up and down from every corner. Girls locked arms and jumped into the crowd—it was instant chaos.
For their last song, “Hot Bod,” Thick invited girls from the crowd (including myself) to join them on stage. The lyrics, “I think you’re hot, I want your bod/ you know you’re hot, that’s all you got,” are the perfect fuck-you anthem to any band-boy that’s ever tried to take advantage of anybody.
At the end of the night a girl came up to me in amazement and said, “that was amazing—I’ve never seen an all-girl mosh pit before.” And I swear it almost brought a tear to my eye.