Southside Punk Showcase

Ultraviolet Arena

Saturday, June 26

The Ultraviolet Arena, the skatepark at Epler and Meridian, hosted 18 of the Midwest’s hottest punk bands this past Saturday. Punk, hardcore, rock, what’s the difference? “Punk” is a paradox, right?

While bass and drum styles varied within the “punk continuum,” every group delivered an enjoyable high-energy performance and brilliantly achieved rhythmic unification.

The sizeable crowd of 80 clapped and bounced along to Never Is a Promise, an energetic sextet to match the drumcorps of the Circle City Classic. As the singer screamed, the bassist synced together with the drummer’s fast hip-hop beat, delivered on a ride cymbal rather than high-hat. A distorted seven-string guitar also added a deep, low end that shook the bleachers, balanced by a crisp piccolo snare.

Muncie’s own Brazil highlighted the evening with a sound in the middle of the “punk spectrum.” The singer belted out intelligible lyrics in a melodic tenor voice, and the bassist and drummer locked into a fast Afro-Cuban beat that gave breathing room on the two and four. Featured on this summer’s Warped tour, Brazil mellowed the mood with ambient string sounds that summoned the guitarists into jazzy arpeggios that steered the group into a roller coaster of rising and falling intensity. The highly rehearsed jazzy breaks ended in an extended crescendo of noise and feedback.

While the all-day circuit ran the gamut from hardcore double kicks to match a Huey to relaxed guitars, one thing was certain: Punk manifested all its varieties Saturday and fans left elevated from the powerful music.

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