Maybe it’s because I grew up going to so many, maybe it’s because there’s never a short supply of energy and passion. There’s no better way to spend a Friday night than watching a punk band go crazy on stage and holy shit that’s what happened at El Corazon when PEARS and Direct Hit came through Seattle.
More on those bands in a bit. Hailing from all over the Midwest, Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band got the crowd warmed up with a solid set of songs. Band namesake Nato Coles built a good rapport with audience, making sure to complement Rainier, a local cheap beer, and the fact that Seattle has happy hours on Friday.
Seattle’s own Dead Bars took the stage and didn’t let the crowd down. Their brand of melodic hardcore infused pop punk kept things moving at a quick, yet introspective pace. Lead singer John Maiello sang his heart out, belting out personal lyrics in a torn throat fashion.
There’s something in the water in the Midwest, with cities like Chicago and Minneapolis churning out amazing punk bands for decades now. Direct Hit is putting Milwaukee to that list, by releasing solid album after solid album. They played an amazingly energetic set that finally got the crowd moving in a circle. They covered a good amount of their excellent new album Wasted Mind, with songs such as “Promised Land” and my personal favorite “Paid in Brains”. Direct Hit played a killer set, filled with energy and sing-along after sing-along, priming the audience for the hurricane that was about to hit.
PEARS is a force of nature, fronted by Zach Quinn, who has one of the most intense stage presences in punk today. He tore across the stage like it was nothing, going into feral mode and crawling through the audience. He doesn’t use music as a way to express himself, he’s possessed by the music, injecting a much-needed dose of pissed off sincerity back into punk. Aiding in the preceding guitarist Brian Pretus, bassist Erich Goodyear and drummer Jarret Nathan all played with heart and provided the backing energy for Quinn’s intensity.
The songs are almost all under three minutes, they are all a kick to the throat and they play with a surplus of energy. What more could you ask for from a punk band? With an amazing new album, Green Star, I’m sure we’ll see much more of them. I only hope they come back through with a band equally as good as Direct Hit because whoever tours with PEARS has to stand out and that’s exactly what they did.