Category Archives: Essays

Rifflandia Memories: Fucked Up 2012

A longer version of a short essay that ran in the magazine for the 10th anniversary of Rifflandia.


A shirtless husky man screams and grunts into a microphone while standing on a table. The mic’s cable is wrapped around his torso, the wire pinning his arms to his sides as if he’s wearing a straitjacket. He kicks pints of beer onto the floor. Four guitars buzz and hum, creating a miasma of sound that’s backed by thumping drums and crashing cymbals. The frenzy elicits a crowd response just as chaotic as the music. Elbows bash into ribcages while puddles of sweat and liquor gather on the ground.  For a punk-rock show, this isn’t unusual. In fact, it’s sometimes surprising when a lead singer doesn’t play the role of unhinged maniac. However, this was transpiring at Rifflandia, an event that featured the likes of The Flaming Lips and Macklemore serenating a sun-soaked audience earlier in the day. Perhaps it was a bit of an odd pairing.

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