Trash Sound Conglomerate Photo by Chris Chappell

Chris Chappell Photo Column—Seattle Pop Punk Festival

Feb 15, 2024

I feel very lucky to live in a city with an event like the Seattle Pop Punk Festival (SPPF). It’s a celebration of the culture, community, and music of pop punk ranging several generations of the genre. Major props go out to Ean (of The Subjunctives and Sicko) for putting on such an event. It’s so easy to continue listening to the same bands as you did during your formative years, but after attending SPPF a couple of times, it’s obvious Ean cares about booking both younger bands and older bands within the genre. The result is a festival that brings pop punkers of different generations together.

I missed the first day of the fest but some great Seattle pop punk/indie punk bands like Jet///Lag and Ol Doris played. Day 2 started out with my favorite local genre-bending punk band, Trash Sound Conglomerate. The sometimes pop punk, sometimes thrash, sometimes indie punk and a little metal, the group approaches their live show with an entertaining ferocity. Next up was Zoinks!, a Nevada-based band I’d never heard of—which isn’t surprising since they broke up in 1998 and reunited recently—but their upbeat songs got me and the rest of the crowd bopping.

The Copyrights Photo by Chris Chappell

Next up was the string of bands I was most excited for. I’ve been going to see Broadway Calls and The Copyrights since I was a teenager and am thrilled that both bands are still putting as much energy into their sets as they did back then. It was great to see so many attendees in from my age range upfront singing along the same way they did back in the day. To close out the night was Seattle’s bar band Dead Bars. I’ve seen Dead Bars probably a dozen times since moving to this city and will likely see them a dozen more times. They’re fast, fun, and the perfect singalong band that never gets old. Always a good time.

I got to Day 3 just in time to catch Night Court, a loose and fast group who put on a hell of a set. Their name sounded overtly familiar and after a quick google, I realized it was because they graced the cover of Razorcake just a few months ago. Following them was Ian and Co. in The Subjunctives who play the kind of bubbly pop punk that’s so endearing that it’ll put a smile on your face.

Dirt Bike Annie Photo by Chris Chappell

Dirt Bike Annie are a band I’ve heard about for years and knew as “a band from back East that Mikey Erg played in at one point” but never checked them out. I even had a friend send me a list of his favorite DBA songs recently, but forgot to listen to them. To be honest, I’m glad I went into that set blind because, holy shit, it was fun. Not only were they more catchy/power poppy than I was expecting but the coordinated dance moves and overall showmanship blew me off my seat.

The Subjunctives Photo by Chris Chappell

When The Subjunctives played their song “Pass It On,” I felt it really summed up the whole experience of Seattle Pop Punk Festival. It brings together bands and fans of pop punk throughout the years, exposing all attending to new bands. I believe it’s important to cross pollinate generations of bands and have ways to expose new generations to this scene/community so it keeps going for years to come.

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