Not to diminish their above-and-beyond musical capabilities—Pennywise is one of those orthodox-punk bands that puts roses in the cheeks of angry beasts in the pit and the nine-dollar-beer-drinking, back-of-the-crowd critic jerks alike—but I have to credit this outfit with kick-starting my very first relationship with a boy.
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But first, about the band: Pennywise is among the many excellent punk posses on Epitaph, and shares with most of them a focus on melodic, honed antagonism. These dudes are for serious: lyrically, the songs veer headlong into some pretty dark and introspective themes. They end each set with an homage to friends who have passed away (intense, yeah?), work on behalf of worthy charities (and sorry, punk rock, you usually suck at that), and are very "fuck you, establishment" about, well, the establishment.
Pennywise have demonstrated some top-notch business acumen as well, their appropriately adrenaline-fueled music showing up in overflowing handfuls of sports-focused video games. Way to keep the next gen of skater kids into it.
And now, about the boy: when I went with him—a beautiful and enigmatic skater who was highly coveted amongst my teen girl squad—he got someone else's blood all over his T-shirt during the set. That happens at Pennywise gigs. But when his quick-change in the parking lot afforded me a short but girlyrection-inducing look at his taut, toasted-almond torso, it sealed the deal for me. I seduced him by way of shitty teenage massage later that night, on a bunk bed. Dear Pennywise: Thank you.
Pennywise with the Circle Jerks and Ignite at House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-2583; www.hob.com. Mon.-Wed., 7 p.m. $19.99. All ages.