Jams were thoroughly kicked out Saturday night as the ES Jungle presented the 2009 Punk Rock Prom. The theme was "Dress your best and bring your dancing shoes," and lots of kids showed up to sing, dance and circle-pit the night away.
Amo Joy kicked it off with their friendly, acid-laced indie pop. The band looks like the four happiest people in the world, and watching them play made me feel a child-like freedom. It was like a grade school finger painting session, and their bouncing, shoeless frontman Adam Gross was the fun art teacher who we all knew was getting high between classes.
Next up was Harley Poe, chilling the air with graveyard sing-along choruses such as, "It's the end of the world and I don't give a shit / The Earth will be a better place without you and me." There were creepy, horror-film keyboards hovering about, and the standing drummer had reversed a bass pedal and was using it to strike the bottom of what appeared to be a floor tom. While singing about vampires, corpses and love, Joe Whitfield's voice seemed to perfectly encompass the bored desperation felt growing up in a place like Indiana, and his cold, piercing eyes magnified the urgency of his voice.
The Green Room Rockers cooled things down a bit with eclectic ska riddims. I tranced out on a couple of their songs while crouched down and leaning over the stage staring off into space, magically drifting along the low frequencies dropped by bass fret-master Alex.
Prizzy Prizzy Please closed the night, but not before bumping the party up into full-blown overdrive. Continuing the series of really excited drummers I have witnessed lately, drummer Scott McNiece set a new standard for level of stokage. Wearing a T-shirt and boxer-briefs, McNiece's cymbal crashes involved physically jumping off of his drummer's throne high in to the air with an excitement Andrew W.K. himself would appreciate. The band returned with a two-song encore, closing the night with AC/DC's "Thunderstruck."