There’s something about seeing a band play in L.A. vs. the Bay Area. I’ve seen Neighborhood Brats play at East 7th Warehouse and the Redwood–both in Downtown Los Angeles–and more recently at Still Not Quiet On the Western Front fest at LoBot Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Although Neighborhood Brats give one of the most intense and enigmatic sets in either city, seeing them play live in Oakland was something really special to me. Although L.A. is my hometown, like some of the members in the band, Oakland is now home to frontwoman Jenny Angelillo, just like it was for me a few years ago.
If you’ve never seen Neighborhood Brats perform live, you will definitely get an education from the force of nature that is Jenny. The Bay Area punk scene is pretty different from L.A., and although the matinee show they played was short, it was still electric enough to make up for the fact that the crowd seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by Jenny. She gets up in your face, forces you to interact and become a (sometimes unwilling) participant of her performance.
Cliche as it may sound, Neighborhood Brats bring punk back down to earth. They make the room less aware of how serious everyone is about themselves. Going to a punk show nowadays can sometimes feel like a fucking chore for me, as if people were dressing up for some fashion show or something. It makes me sick. I know punk can still be about community, friends, getting wasted, not giving any fucks about what anyone thinks, and above all, just having fucking fun. It seems like Neighborhood Brats never lost that, and all I know is that is fucking tight.