Photo: Steve Nadeau

Punk rock is a release. It’s all about the energy. A hard-hitting-emotionally-explosive-in-your-face force that slaps you upside the head, doesn’t apologize, and then leaves you as fast as it came–reminiscent of some of my past love affairs, actually.

My friend Steve and I saw Lola Black play recently at Bannock Street Garage. The sweating crowd guzzled PBR’s in the darkened gloom of the bar far, far away from the glaring summer sun. It was a diverse crowd featuring long-haired dudes in fedoras, hippie chicks in sundresses, a rainbow smattering of tattoos and spectacular, gravity-defying Mohawks.

It was rock-n-roll, baby. No foreplay, no preamble. No soft stroking overture to ease you into the frenetic fuck-you of their set. Lola can scream sing with the best of them. It was so loud you couldn’t think. The guitarist held his instrument over his head, invoking the angry guitar gods to smote us all. And we cheered him on gladly. The band worked the crowd into a moshing lather and the mood was one of raucous merriment that might appear chaotic to the observer–but that was extremely satisfying to the participants.

If you experience a punk rock show fully, the end result means feeling physically exhausted and emotionally spent. A lot of times people don’t remember it because they’re so drunk at the end of the night. Or they just puke their guts out until all the sickness leaves. For me, love often used to embody all the jangly discord of a punk rock show. Now it’s become something infinitely more refined and harmonious. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with punk rock-styled love affairs–but party responsibly, at least.

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