There is no question that punk lives on in Chico.
The 2015 Cammies Punk Showcase was the hit of the music festival as crowds of both young and old filled Monstros Pizza during the Saturday event. Twenty-four energetic bands poured their heart and soul into short sets to fans who were constantly demanding more.
The long list of bands that were scheduled to play knew exactly what they were getting themselves into, and they were feeding off the frenzy.
The speakers were set and the instruments slightly tuned. It was time for punk to let loose to a slowly growing crowd.
The event started out with a performance by Slay it Forward, and though the crowds were slowly filing in, the band pummeled away as if there were a hundred people watching them. Performing for the first time at Monstros Pizza, the band was clearly having fun as Weston Ruiz glided across the sawdust-covered floor and stood on speakers.
The second act to hit the stage was Jay Decay, who stood alone jamming on his guitar and singing about not giving a (insert curse word).
Sleazy Earl Ray and Two Drink Minimum were next in line and had fans singing along to songs like “Dirty Girl.” As the set came to an end, there was a moment where the lead singer started throwing things toward the crowd, including black and red underwear.
“This may be the best 10 minutes of your life or the worst,” said Brad Finney, the man behind Nothing Left, during his one-man show. With just himself and his guitar, it was one of the calmer sets, which is saying a lot for an all-day punk fest.
The sets were nice and short, ranging from three to four songs, which made the showcase evenly split between bands. It gave each of the 24 bands time to show Chico what they had.
It also gave a certain writer a breather.
As the event continued, crowds gathered, beers in hand for those old enough to drink, and heads nodding in love with the music.
Some obvious favorites that garnered more fans included Lips of Renegade, Icko Sicko, We Bite and John Holmes. Some bands even had their own mosh pit, which made for some entertainment.
The one thing that became clear as the event continued was that when it comes to punk, it’s not important to hear the lyrics. It is the feeling of belonging, which as the crowds gathered became apparent to everyone who was there, whether on stage or moshing in the crowd.
People can vote for their favorite punk bands here — and don’t forget to attend the finale and awards show on Saturday, which will include live performances.
Erin Vierra can be reached at [email protected] or @gingersmurf85 on Twitter.