Drunk At A Show: Monsterwatch, Choke the Pope, Porn Bloopers & Baywitch at Funhouse


I knew this one was destined to be a sweaty gig. I’d been saying just that since I first saw the bill several weeks ago, when memories of past Porn Bloopers, Choke the Pope and Monsterwatch shows came to mind. I feel like I’ve only ever left shows from these bands soaked in sweat, and all of them on the same bill was a recipe for a rowdy night (especially at the Funhouse, where I think I’ve had only rowdy nights).

It was my first time seeing Baywitch, who opened the show. I loved them because they really do sound like beachy witches; they make their surf rock sound more distinct with the intricate and catchy guitarwork of Lila Burns. They played a new song called “Hellfog,” which was about that awful smoke that hung over Seattle this summer that gave us a taste of dystopian science fiction. Their sound is perfect for this subject matter, the hazy and mesmerizing feeling of it all. I spent most of their set getting down and watching Burns play (she made it look so effortless—witchcraft!). They played a solid set that loosened up the room.

Following Baywitch was Porn Bloopers. This band is sloppy in a way you want, that makes your own sloppiness come out to join the party. Their pop-punk sound leans heavier on the punk end of things, is hearty and gritty, but has that rhythmic, addictive catchiness that comes from pop music, plus a trumpet cutting through all of the heaviness for a brighter tone. At Funhouse they weren’t perfectly polished, and they rarely are whenever they play. At this show, for example, drummer Willy Walker’s floor tom collapsed but they just kept going. Guitarist Morgan Pfiffner treated us to a striptease… but forgot to untie his boots first. Their ability to muscle through any mishap and keep the crowd with them every time is why we love them. And hey, it’s very liberating to down a gin and tonic and jump around with your friends, yelling “I don’t give a fuck” over 20 times in a span of two minutes, which is a gift Porn Bloopers gave me that night when they closed with the fittingly titled “I Don’t Give a Fuck.”

While Choke the Pope set up their gear, I heard whispers in the crowd that they were going to play 15 songs in under 30 minutes. I didn’t count while they played, but they did pack their set list like a clown car with their high-tempo, short-lived songs. Not that I’m complaining by any means—they played a great show that night. They hammered through their set, playing solid new material and their tried and true older songs. Their stage presence wavered between endearing and funny; Nick Vazquez, the frontman, kept his eyes downcast much of the time, occasionally pushing his glasses up like a nervous kid talking to someone he has a crush on, while singing lyrics about going to the top of the Space Needle to piss on the city or masturbating at work. But even though their songs are goofy and sometimes crude, their lyrics can also be very relatable in a way that balances out the vulgarity, and I love them for all of it.

Monsterwatch, who are consistently polished and tight, delivered on this consistency that night. It’s pretty damn amazing that there are only three people in Monsterwatch; they’re this massive wall of sound that filled the room with volume, the air thick with distortion and feedback and hair. People went nuts during their set, too. I saw hair-grabbing, elbows thrown, bloody fingers, people thrown around like ragdolls… not my kind of pit, so I opted out like when a mom sits on a bench and says, “I’d rather watch you kids have fun” at the playground. But I get it. Monsterwatch played a totally thrashable set that kept building with each song, with hardly any pauses between them. I could go on for a while about Monsterwatch, their commanding and dynamic presence onstage, the big and small things they do to peak and sustain energy throughout their set, how it’s obvious that they are hardworking and skilled musicians and they put on a hell of a show.

The show was as sweaty as I imagined, as rowdy as anyone could have hoped for. There was variation between each band, so it wasn’t too heavily one sound and each set stood out, while also not being so different from each other that the bill didn’t make sense. It was a great gig—one for the books, as they say.

*All photo credit goes to Monica Martinez: make sure to like her page on Facebook and follow her on Instagram.

#drunkatashow #monsterwatch #chokethepope #pornbloopers #baywitch

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