In The Pit

Bands Moon Rules Apply, GOLD STEPS, Johnnie Guillbert and SayWeCanFly tuned guitars, warmed up voices, and prepped the angst to be let loose on stage.

Antonio Llanos, Staff Writer

Last Friday, I stood outside a tavern-like venue, The W.C. Social Club.  Punk bands Moon Rules Apply, GOLD STEPS, Johnnie Guillbert and SayWeCanFly tuned guitars, warmed up voices, and prepped the angst to be let loose on stage.

In a well-versed and well-executed collision of experimental hardcore blasts and punk hooks, Moon Rules Apply kicked off the show, establishing an explosive, ever-evolving melody observant of hardcore pioneers.  The band’s musical experience was an eclectic blend of ‘90s alternative metal and 2000s hard, experimental rock. These songs are anything but unheard, but will, no doubt, be heard. With an energetic presence and explosion of rhythm and melodic sound, Moon Rules Apply clashed with every note, smashing each chord on time. Andre Holman, lead singer, who is clearly a Kurt Cobain fan and receptive to the alternative/90s sound, demanded a crowd with his loud, pressured vocals scratching to the sound of aggression and ferocious angst, pounding along in search of some solace in the mundanity of the chaos of everyday life. The craziness of the noise ignited within him, and he dominated the stage, enticing everyone in his rage-fit of melodic passion. If you want a crazy set and even crazier set up of songs, your best bet is to jump into the pit with Moon Rules Apply. 

Following the explosive experimental collision that is Moon Rules Apply is the melodic pop-punk quintet GOLD STEPS. Led by Betty Mauritz, the band is in constant search of one melody after the next and with Mauritz’ voice, the audience was enticed into searching for the next one. Much like Hayley Williams from Paramore, Mauritz tapped into melancholy and vocally brought it back in all the emotional angst one can take from a pop-punk band. Along with her fellow band members, she transcended the energy on stage, pulling the audience in one song at a time.   

Johnnie Guillbert was the third artist to take the stage. and in an honest review of his performance, Guillbert’s covers landed better than his original songs.  Guillbert is a talented artist with a range that can reach some very high pitches, but his original songs were too drawn out. His set was unplanned, even taking requests from his fans. He had trouble remembering how his older songs were played. As painful as it is to be let down by his performance, I saw potential for him to grow, almost as though he was on the precipice of finding his footing as a musician and recording artist.   

Finally, the headliner, SayWeCanFly took the stage and  made up for all the falters Guillbert made, closing out the show with a stellar performance.  By the end of the night everyone was singing in unison. 

SayWeCanFly, Johnnie Guillbert and Golsteps round out the latter half of their tour on Oct. 30 in Minnesota.