I missed you punk rock.
I’ve always been a Conor Oberst fan: Bright Eyes was one of my whinier favorites in high school, I frequented Saddle Creek Records when I lived in Omaha during college, and last year Conor killed it at his solo Boulder Theater show. But with the reunion of Desaparecidos, Conor has definitely entered a whole new level of cool. Maybe it was the gutteral screaming, maybe it was the jumping off the kick drum mid-guitar solo, or maybe it was the mosh pit. The Desaparecidos give zero f*cks and I’ve missed the attitude that is this band.
In true punk-rock style, before the Desaparecidos actually walked onstage, the audio for the 1950s propaganda “Duck and Cover” played. And that’s when the high school me reawakened: the skater-shoe-and-fake-lip-ring-wearing-wannabe-anarchist kind (because, like, fuck the corporations man). It was like being back at Warped Tour 2007, except it’s exactly where I wanted to be right now. The boys started off with “Left it Right” and the “Underground Man” and between every song of the set, the lights went dark and some sort of propaganda audio played. Then the lights would burst on and guitarist Denver Dalley would wail us into the next song with some sick guitar scratches that were almost as cool as his name. The band then tossed us into a new song, “City on the Hill” where Conor screamed at us that justice is blind/and so is love and we’ll all get rich together in America. WHERE DID THE EMO MOVEMENT GO? I WANT IT AND MY OLD SKATEBOARD BACK. Drummer Matt Baum kept us nosediving with the beat on this one and Dalley ripped a sweet solo near the end of the track. The Desaparecidos dudes followed this with another new one, “Ralphey’s Cut”, which has not yet hit the interwebs.
One of the best parts of the show was when the crowd erupted into a circular death-pit of moshing during “Greater Omaha” which is an awesome screw-the-suburbs mantra. Who knew the Midwest could bring such badass vibes?
Desaparecidos closed with “Hole in One” for their ten-song set, channeling an inner rage toward the ‘american dream’ with screams and (what else?) HEAVY SYNTH. Thank you Ian McElroy. And thank you Epitaph Records for bringing back this supergroup (with the recent annoucment of an upcoming album) that gives us exactly what we need every once in awhile: a good solid dose of angsty, middle-finger-to-the-institutions punk rock.
Read more about this Fillmore show in the Brand New article on our site.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.