Live Review: dirty kid discount, the vaticxnts, demoni, shinegoggles

march 14 • cabin tavern

The four bands on this bill could only be a better match for one another if they shared members. Since the bands’ homes span three different states, it is pretty safe to say that anyone who went to that show was lucky enough to witness the amazing, spontaneous chemistry between all the attitudes of punk and debauchery that reared their smelly heads on March 14 at the Cabin Tavern.
I want to make a special note of that smell.  It smelled like a punk show should. It smelled like the collective of the bar’s occupancy was quarantined without water for weeks.  It smelled salty, moldy, with a hint of hair wax and spilled beer. If you go to a restaurant, you want to experience great cooking smells. If you go to a brewery, you’d want to smell boiling wort and hops. If go to a punk show; you had better smell sweat, filth, and grime.  If you didn’t smell like that on the way in, you had better smell like that on the way out.
I missed Shinegoggles; yet I know they gave a great, spazzy, drunken, bouncy, hillbilly punk performance. In lieu of lying about how I saw them play, I’ll just take a quick second to celebrate the brains behind booking the show. Robby Cleary is doing something incredible and special for this town, I’ll thank him publicly right now. Apologies to the rest of Shinegoggles for missing out.
Demoni was playing as I walked in – they’re a three piece out of Boise, and they were as tight as the grip I had on my beer. The bass player used an upright bass, which was a great fit for their psychobilly charm. These guys seemed pretty seasoned and they performed flawlessly.
Newbies, The Vaticxnts are quickly becoming a force in Bellingham. It is a difficult thing to do, when you make defined stands on political topics. Fortunately, leading lady Kelly Hoekema is brilliant and determined. She melted my heart a little when she plainly stated “Fu*k Michigan, we don’t need your rape insurance.” The band as a whole is raw and exciting, and they get better each time they play. As it stands, everything sounds angry and, though disorganized at times, intentional. Watch out for this band.
The final band of the night, Portland’s Dirty Kid Discount took to the front of the bar setting up. It’s clear that this band is full of varying influences with seven members they also have a lot of moving parts to keep track of; and they never missed a beat, hesitated at a wrong note, or lost it when the crowd got a little too involved. Adding to the standard rock arsenal of drums, bass and electric guitar; DKD performed with a second acoustic guitar, an accordion, a banjo, a mandolin, and occasionally a trombone. Unfortunately, I spent the whole set watching the acoustic instruments strummed, and only hearing the electric guitar and bass. This bummed me out because it kind of made the acoustic instruments ceremonial, and I wanted more. I will say that despite my disappointment, the show remained a great success, from beginning to end.
–Andrew Beer