On March 31st, 2018 at SOMA San Diego, a crowd of teenagers lined up and anxiously awaited the arrival of the Bay Area punk rock band, Mt. Eddy. When the doors finally opened at 6:30 pm, people trickled in and huddled as close to the side stage as possible. The audience grew as the night went on, and as the anticipation rose, we knew that we were in for one hell of a ride.
Kicking off the night was the King Lizard tribute band, Big Fig Wasps, who played a solid 35 minute set with no room for rest. With ethereal howls and screams, the mosh pit started up early and even knocked a few unsuspecting victims on their feet, but they were quick to get back up and into the action.
Taking the stage soon after, were the Los Angeles based psychedelic surf rock band, The Bash Dogs. The group consisting of members, Jeremy Barrett, Nate Barrett, and Nathan Schmok were missing keyboardist, Cole Riddle due to a trip to Bali, but the trio still kept the crowd locked in and hyped up for the third band of the night, GROVE.
By the time GROVE started their set, there were about a hundred people crammed together and you could smell the sweat and heat in the air. As they played songs, “Way Back Home” and “Killer Whale”, the collective of bodies jumping together was like watching a giant wave. The excitement continued to increase as singer-guitarist, Pat Collins invited the other four bands of the night to join them on stage to sing, The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends”. There wasn’t a dull moment during GROVE’s set and the disappointment was evident as the band exited the stage.
The fourth band of the night, Sitting on Stacy, picked up right where GROVE left off and got the crowed up and moshing again. Starting their set with “Fuck Nature” as an intro to “Mailman,” the crowd couldn’t stop moving as the electric riffs enveloped the room. The energy was insane and singer-guitarist, Hoyt Yeatman was so consumed in the music that he broke a string, but still managed close out a clean track. Luckily, Enzo Malaspina of Mt. Eddy offered up his guitar until they could restring Yeatman’s for the rest of the set. The cheers from the audience were overwhelming and the room cleared up quite a bit as the last note rang out.
Mt. Eddy finally took the stage at 9:45 pm, and those who had left the room rushed back in to get a glance at the up and coming Northern Californian punk band. Singer-guitarist Jakob Armstrong, bassist Kevin Judd, guitarist Enzo Malaspina, and drummer Chris Malaspina filed onto the stage and the screams were loud enough to leave your ears ringing for days. Playing fan favorites, “Wilshambe” and “Metaphor”, the crowd couldn’t help but sing along (much to Jakob’s surprise) and scream the chorus to “Song and Fury”. As well as playing songs from their 2017 album, ‘Chroma,’ they played songs from their newly released EP. The energy and passion that rang through every note played was intoxicating and the heat from the bodies cramming together in a desperate attempt to get closer to the stage as they closed of the night with “Lovely” was suffocating.
The whole night was a wild ride and one of the best local shows I’ve ever been to. Every band that played killed it and threw every once of emotion they had into the art they were creating that’s all you can really ask for when going to a live show. The feeling of being connected to the strangers around you all because of a mutual love of music is a life changing experience that I will continue to cherish.