I had been really looking forward to seeing Leftover Crack at Riot Fest 2016, but Billy Talent was playing at the same time on a different stage, and they distracted me and held my attention instead. So I was happy to find out that Leftover Crack was coming to DNA Lounge in San Francisco and I was finally getting a chance to see them live. (Considering I blew it the first time. Not my fault Riot Fest had such an awesome lineup.)
And by “find out” I mean I got a sponsored ad for it on Facebook less than a week before the show and wasn’t sure if it was legit. Facebook ads for shows now? Really?
There were four opening bands I had not heard of: Civil War Rust, Vale, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, and Starving Wolves.
My plan was to grab pizza in DNA’s connected pizza place before buying a ticket and heading in the venue, but I discovered something after I sat down with my slice. DNA is very poorly designed. Great for me, bad for them. I was sitting directly across from a door that opened right next to the stage. Perfect view and I didn’t even have a ticket yet. It felt like sidestage. On top of that, they also have TVs around the room showing footage of the band playing.
I believe Vale was on when I got there. They’re led by a female, Kate Coysh—and just give me a moment to explain how much I adore bands with females (frontwomen or otherwise)—but she was was mostly just screaming, and kinda screechy. I wasn’t really into it.
So for a little while I thought about just watching the show from my awesome seat in the pizza place rather than buying a ticket until/unless they threatened to kick me out.
I could hear the table next to me talking about more or less the same thing. They were thinking about just running in during Leftover Crack if they had to. It made me feel a little less bad hearing them vocalizing everything I was thinking, but at the same time, they still had beers so they had good excuses to stay seated. I finished my pizza at this point, so I had no excuse to stay.
I’m decked out in all black like I tend to be these days, but I felt like my Green Day hoodie kinda gave me away a bit. I was the least punk person in that venue. It was weird, but nice in a way. That never happens anymore. I think I hit my peak of punk-ness at 23.
So I also felt in a way that this is a punk venue. The only other time I’ve ever been inside the venue part rather than just the pizza part was for a punk rock flea market. It’s just a thing. So maybe they understand the struggle and open up the pizza part for the purpose of allowing people to see the show who might not otherwise. That’s really awesome if that’s the case.
But after Vale left the stage, everything I’ve said previously became null and void.
Bad Cop/Bad Cop took the stage and my mind went directly to these thoughts:
1) Aww, they’re an all female punk band! I have such a weakness for female punk bands, it’s ridiculous.
2) Holy shit, and they’re really good too.
3) Welp, guess I gotta go give them all my money now.
And give them all my money, I did.
I took $40 out of the ATM (which ha, was all I had in my account at the time, so I’m being serious). Five dollars of that went to pizza, and then $18 for a ticket into the venue. …and then I went to their merch table and grabbed a Not Sorry CD for another $15. Goodbye, money. It was nice sorta knowing you.
But it was definitely worth it.
They were SO GOOD. I am completely in love with them now.
It’s happened a handful of times before that I see a band before having heard of them, opening bands in particular, that have just blown me so far away I go “I need to know this band.” Bad Cop/Bad Cop is now among that elite group of bands that caught me off guard in the best way.
They were not only amazing musicians, but also super adorable. They were onstage dancing and just clearly having fun, and I love that. I want to be them.
The bassist did that chin wave thing from the Little Rascals and I lost my shit. It’s been exactly a year since Denverender and that brought back some memories I wish it didn’t. I want to reclaim that Little Rascals thing. I think there’s no one better than badass lady punks to help me do that.
Their lyrics were so on point and relatable (and now having listened to their album a million times I can say they hold up). I took some videos of songs that I honestly want to use as responses to certain text messages if I ever needed to. “I’m done” and “I don’t need you.”
I would totally go see them again. Many times. Someone told me they’re playing Warped Tour this year, so I guess I have to go to Warped Tour.
Honestly I loved them so much that I was actually a little concerned that Leftover Crack wouldn’t top them for me.
Thank god I was wrong though. Come on. Of course they’re gonna top them.
But before that! There was one last opener, Starving Wolves.
They were pretty good, too, but obviously did not blow me nearly as far away as Bad Cop/Bad Cop did. They were a little more hardcore, and the frontman kept trying to get everyone to go nuts in the pit. I wasn’t about that pit.
I did not go in the pit the whole night. The venue isn’t too big, but the pit took up most of the floor space. Like mosh pit to rest of the venue was probably 70/30. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but it was huge. And it was more of a hardcore pit than I’m accustomed to. There wasn’t really anyone guarding the edges because it’s not a tight pit in the least, so you have to be able to keep yourself vertical. I don’t trust myself in pits like those. I might die in there. So I opted instead to dance on my own in my little bit of space to the left of the pit.
The guitarist of Starving Wolves is the brother of the bassist of Bad Cop/Bad Cop, so it was really cool that they were touring together.
And NOW it’s time for Leftover Crack.
I feel like I have to be in a certain mood to enjoy them. They’re a bit of an acquired taste in a way. But I was most certainly in the mood tonight and it was FANTASTIC.
I guess I’d describe them as melodic hardcore punk? They’ve got some pop punk-y vibes, but they’re definitely heavier. The internet tells me they’re a mixture of ska, crust, punk, and metal. I like that. We’ll go with it.
Oh yeah, and there’s also the whole anarchy/fuck-the-police thing. I like it.
Frontman Stza (Scott Sturgeon) has the most unique and distinguishable voice. But I’d never seen them live before, so I honestly didn’t know what he looked like. So I was very confused when the first guy who started singing was not him.
But then Stza came onstage and I’m like “Oh, okay, that’s him.”
Kate from Vale came back onstage to sing a few songs with Stza.
Going against my general weakness for the ladies, I’m not a huge fan of her. Again, it was just a lot of high-pitched screeching. Not my thing.
Leftover Crack has SO MUCH ENERGY. It was so great.
All of them were dancing and it was really cute. Like with Bad Cop/Bad Cop, you could tell how much fun they were having. At one point Stza was jumping like a foot or two in the air.
They’ve been doing this a while, so they know what they’re doing.
There was smoke coming out a speaker at one point near the end of the show. Went a little too hard, maybe?
“Bad Cop… Bad Cop. I thought there was another kind of cop, but they’re both bad!”
Says the guy who sings a song that literally has the lyrics “Fuck the police!”
Instead of taking a break before an encore, they pulled Starving Wolves back onstage to play a song “Fuck the People” together.
I would totally see Leftover Crack again. They’re super good and definitely a fun live act to see. Would recommend.
Photo credit: Alan Snodgrass (www.digitaldiversion.net)