This year’s Berserktown at the Observatory in Santa Ana, California was a first for me. I was prepared for a total sausage fest, but was really surprised to see how many women-fronted bands took the stage on the final day. I was late in catching Downtown Boys from Providence, RI but started shooting away the minute I jumped into the pit while they were playing the last few songs of their set. This image captured what I thought summed up the vibe—camaraderie between the women in the bands and showing genuine solidarity—made the final day the most special for me. (I didn’t realize the lead singer of Priests from Washington D.C. was also in the pit bouncing along to Downtown Boys’ political dance punk with everyone else.) I liked seeing the space being inhabited by women, everyone respecting each other, dancing, and sing-shouting along with all the ladies on stage, with many of the singers breaking the lame stage barriers and encouraging crowd participation. It was fu
cking powerful and beautiful where so many punk shows often feel like we’ve become metaphorically/literally pushed to the side even within our own scenes. On Sunday, the mujeres
sparked the beginning of something new.