ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY REBECCA GALLERY
Last Saturday July 11 the Takoma Park VFW in the “Hell’s Bottom” neighborhood played host to the third annual Metro Area Ska/Punk Summer Bash, featuring a lineup of seven ska and punk musical acts. Bands and fans poured into the venue starting at 4:00 PM and proceeded to rock the house for the next six hours with a variety of pop punk rock and traditional ska music. The lineup included ska/punk bands Survay Says, Backyard Superheroes, Thirteen Towers, The Captivators, Six Foot Machine, The Good Fight, and The Split Seconds.
The VFW was teeming with fans of all ages bouncing enthusiastically to the music and not missing a beat. The VFW had ample seating, plenty of room for dancing and affordable drink prices.
The Thirteen Towers band. Photo by Rebecca Gallery.
The musicians all expressed their gratitude for the VFW hosting the festival and their appreciation of the Takoma Park local music scene.
“Takoma Park is an oasis for bands and artists in the DC area. It’s really easy to feel stifled as a musician in the DC metro area. Much of the region is very uptight and prohibitively expensive for DIY shows. But Takoma Park really stands in contrast to its surroundings. Venues like The VFW and The Electric Maid allow artists to take a chance by expressing themselves in ways that may not be conventionally profitable. As a result those venues are the foundation of a dynamic scene. The VFW is a great venue in particular because it brings together seemingly strange bedfellows in artists and soldiers, but there’s an awesome camaraderie that results. It’s fun as hell.” Says Drew Champion with the Split Seconds.
The Split Seconds. Photo by Rebecca Gallery.
As the night passed the energy in the room buzzed with a sense of community and togetherness despite the diverse crowd.
“The show on Saturday could not have turned out any better. Takoma Park welcomed us with open arms in a way no other area in the Dc metro area. The fact that there were parents and babies present as well as veterans and punk rockers under one roof really made it feel like a community get together. There is definitely a need for more local music in Takoma Park, especially punk rock and ska. With a little luck I intend to bring it to them.” Says Edson Hinostroza with Thirteen Towers
Photo by Rebecca Gallery.
Each band left the stage gleaming with sweat and smiles as the rambunctious crowd cheered for encores.
“Saturday’s show was a great time. Kept the momentum going from our first show and it was great seeing people we’ve never met dance to our tunes! Even saw one dude singing along, which is one of the coolest experiences a band can have!” says Backyard Superheroes who drove from New Jersey to perform for Takoma Park fans.
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“We had a rollicking good time at the show. The VFW hall had a great stage, the beer was cheap, the bartenders super friendly and the patrons were all really welcoming, whether they were ska fans or not! Hopefully, at the end of the day, a few of them walked out the door with a new appreciation of ska!” says Captivators front man Bill Wade
For more information on the event and the artists please visit:
Related post: Mike Casey: in command, beer in hand – profile of the VFW post commander and his plan to keep Takoma Park’s VFW alive. By Rose Creaseman Welcome.