I stumbled across Tsunami Bomb my Freshman year of college. The new millennium was upon us, Y2K didn’t actually end the world, 9/11 had just happened, and there was a new President who seemed to be in over his head. The world was ripe for a 19 year old kid to fall in love with an admittedly small but growing punk scene. Here were kids that understood all the bullshit that I had grown up with. These kids had an underlying fire and anger that led them to action. These kids knew the best way to release this aggression was in a circle pit. These kids understood that even if you got punched in the mouth at a show, you always pick someone up that falls in the pit. These were my people.
I loved the sound of Tsunami Bomb. It was unlike anything I had heard before between the fast pace and furious female lead and an occasional seemingly pirate punk sound (See: “El Diablo” from the show in Houston last night). This was a punk band that had a keyboardist who would play organ during the songs. Just amazing.
I assume most fans found them the same way I did, the same way most everyone outside of SoCal found out about them – LimeWire and the Warped Tour. Seeing them on small side stages was the best. Being pulled on stage multiple times by lead singer at the time Agent M to scream choruses to a frantic crowd. These are memories that I will love until they are placed in the grave with me.
I still remember where I was in 2005 when I found out they had broken up. My college roommate Max, who had accompanied me on more than one trip following bands across Texas at shows in Austin, Dallas and Houston, called and told me. The conversation was short. It was something to the effect of, “Hey dude. I know you’re going through some stuff down there, but Tsunami Bomb broke up. I don’t want to hear you cry, so I’m going now but I thought you should hear it from a friend.” I was in my hometown cleaning up from Hurricane Rita which had taken the roof off of our apartment. Not a great few days.
I had just turned 24. Let’s fast forward a decade. Life comes at you fast and it feels like the last show I had seen them was a few years back, not 10 full years. Last night, Tsunami Bomb bassist Dominic Davi made a comment about how much older the crowd was. After the initial “screw you I’m not old” feeling ran through me I felt a pain in my knee (you know, the whole clumsy part of this blog) and knew he was 100% correct. I looked around and I wasn’t the only one with a little grey in the hair but we didn’t let that stop us.
It took about half a song for the energy to get ramped up in the warehouse we were in. But once it was there it didn’t stop though the last song of the night, the first Tsunami Bomb song that made it big and an anthem for our generation – “Take the Reins”. The crowd was feverous and the pit was rocking. I’ve not been in a pit in years and tonight stood right at the back of it, but the energy fed the room. Kate and Oobilette joined in the pit to sing an encore of “Lemonade”, the first song they ever recorded and on of my favorites.
New singer Kate Jacobi has a fine voice and fits in very well with original vocalist Oobliette Sparks. Gabe Lindeman’s drumming still rattles your bones after all these years. The surprise of the night came in the form of 30 Foot Fall’s Chris LaForge on guitar. He was a fill in for this show and learned Tsunami Bomb’s entire catalog in a week to prepare for the show. He was spot on! What drew me to the band in the beginning was the bass playing ability of Dominic Davi. As a fellow bass player, I’ve always been impressed with the speed that he moves and the grooves he can put down, and the dude still has it.
I would be remiss to not mention the opening acts. I like to get to shows early and see the openers, it’s the best way to discover your new favorite band. All three of these acts went hard and I love all of them. GashGasm is an all female band that kicks the door in and controls the room. Llorona is one of those bands that the look doesn’t really match the sound, but they absolutely blew me away. Skeleton Dick was the band I was most excited about based on name alone, but they got a fan last night. Their music is fast, in your face, and you an feel the beat and speed in your heart. Each and every one of these bands earned my respect last night. If you get the chance, please go support them. (I’ll put some Snaps I took last night under this post).
In the first Texas show in 10 years, not a lot has changed. A Tsunami Bomb show remains some of the most fun I have ever had. Still fast, still hard, still a punch to the throat in the best way possible.