Saturday, December 20, 2014


Sound Stage

Punk on tap at Gas Lamp

6/5/2013

The Real Action front man Matt Wellendorf.

The Real Action front man Kurt Johnson.

One thing Gas Lamp co-owner Frankie Farrell prides himself on is establishing the venue as your go-to place for punk rock in the capital city. Whether it is quality regional acts like Iowa City’s Lipstick Homicide or genre legends like The Queers, if it’s loud and trashy, chances are Gas Lamp is where you’ll find it. It is, however, quite possible that Gas Lamp’s proprietors have out done themselves with their May 31 offering.

Local act The Real Action opened the evening, ahead of the Michigan-born Goddamn Gallows and San Francisco’s Swingin’ Utters. The Utters — this evening’s headliners — showed that no amount of side projects, tour dates or years on hiatus can affect a sound that strikes right to the beating heart of classic, old-fashioned pop punk. The California five-piece attacked the stage with amps cranked to 11 and energy to spare.

Preceding them, The Goddamn Gallows are an act that Des Moines punk and rockabilly fans are well acquainted with. The Detroit five-piece provides one of the most consistently entertaining live shows around, and despite nagging soundboard issues, Friday was no exception. While front man Mikey Classic ripped through the group’s set with loud, crashing abandon, accordionist/Spoon man/trouble maker TV’s Avery split his time equally between playing on stage and flinging himself into the sea of raucous fans.

However, the true revelation of the night for Des Moines local music fans was the night’s opening act. The Real Action — comprised of Kurt Johnson, Matt Wellendorf, Tim Adelman and Robby Hughes — made its live debut in this show. A new band baptizing itself in the fires of a Goddamn Gallows/Swingin’ Utters show is a remarkably tall task, and The Real Action proved itself worthy in every way. Its set was loud and fast, and the band has announced its presence with authority. CV

DM Art Center

Medicap