by Wheaton Hop

A Love Letter to Live Shows, Punk Rock Raduno, and The Creeps

If I was a betting gal, I’d wager you’ve been missing live music as much as I have. This past year, we’ve missed a lot of shows, lost a lot of venues, a lot of festivals. It has sucked. Royally. We’ve lost moments that were destined to become forever loved memories with friends and the music we’ve known for years, with friends and the music we have yet to meet and fall in love with. It has completely bummed me out and if I am anxious for anything to make a comeback, it’s definitely live shows. Many attempts have been made these last 14 or so months to soften the blow of this fucked up fuckedupedness that is the new times. Corona times. We’ve had drive ins, we’ve had livestreams. And lockdown has certainly stirred up the creative juices of a ton of fantastic bands and show organizers who continue to plug away to make a living and stay connected to their fans. But nothing comes close to being there in person, in the gloriously sweaty flesh. That is… until the minds of the beautiful humans we call the Punk Rock Raduno Family started releasing a series of live full sets from years past. One day, I will get the chance to hug these amazing creatures in person to thank them for giving me The Creeps.

I wasn’t lucky enough to be present for this set, recorded in July 2019 in beautiful Begamo Italy, home to Punk Rock Raduno. But the second the needle dropped on that luscious purple slab of wax, I was instantly transported to that very spot. It felt as if my mind had its very own Punk Rock TARDIS. I could never overstate the feeling I have while listening. I strongly encourage you to pick up this glorious album, and as the music kicks in, close your eyes. Do you feel it? The energy? The togetherness? The LOVE? Picture it. Feel the warm sun kissing your skin, drenching you in sweat as you bounce to the rhythm, brushing up against your fellow rock and roll comrades. Bobbing your heads in unison as you sing along to what is, essentially, the best live show I have never seen. Eyes closed, speakers dialed up as close to 11 as I could get, I’m suddenly enveloped in rich, lush, passionate vocals and the music drowns me in joy. It truly is a thing of beauty. I feel it to my bones. I know I can get romantically entranced and long winded when it comes to talking about music I love. I’m kinda not sorry for that but, before I drag you into tl;dr territory, here’s what you’re in for when you purchase this gorgeous record.

The set starts out with Staring Me Down, a track from Beneath The Pines and I fall instantly in love. From there, song after song, the boys carry us on a journey through their catalogue including more songs from Beneath The Pines as well as Eulogies, Our Time, and Back To The Bin. For me, Cancer (from Eulogies), in particular, is amazing and if there is one song I could play on repeat all day, it’s Cancer. Just. SO. Damn. Good.
Honestly, though. Every song is a stand out for me and, quite frankly, damn near perfect. I’ve probably spun this record 87 times, and each time it is as fresh and invigorating as the first listen.

So listen, will you? Just listen. Close your eyes, and I’ll meet up with you in Bergamo in July 2019. I’ll be the one with the permanent smile on my face.
Ciao, belli. xo

– Wheaton Hop