Jawbreaker at Showbox SoDo, March 18, 2022, Seattle, Wash. | photo by Chris Chappell @gettingwarmer

Chris Chappell Photo Column—Jawbreaker  

Mar 23, 2024

When I started dipping my toes in the DIY punk world of Phoenix, Ariz., most of the local bands were a generation above me. This meant that I got to hear stories about all of my favorite bands who’d broken up. Right around that time, Latterman and The Ergs! called it a day and Lance Hahn of J Church passed away. I felt like I had missed out on an era of great bands.

My friend Eric told me tales of these days; how his old band almost did a split 7” with J Church and all the times he got to see Jawbreaker in the ’90s. The Jawbreaker stories cut the deepest as I’d listened to their classic album 24 Hour Revenge Therapy a thousand times, memorizing every lyric and drum fill. They were the legendary godfathers of emo and melodic punk that famously broke up in turmoil and were destined to never ever reunite. That is, until they did reunite.

I was lucky to see them play in the first run of shows in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Palladium. There was a frantic anticipation in the crowd leading up to their set that burst open when they opened with their classic singalong “Boxcar.” I was shaking with excitement and blacked out from joy when they played “Jinx Removing.”

Fast forward a few years. They announced a show in Seattle, Wash. just a couple miles from where I lived. Of course, I’d attend the show, but I knew I had to try to try for a photo pass. Through sheer luck, I slid into the band’s DMs and by the grace of the punk gods, they got back to me. It was thrilling to be right up front for the first three songs of the band that I once dreamed of seeing. I don’t think the photos I took were the greatest shots I’ve ever taken but they are some of my most cherished.

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