Local fans of punk music have something to cheer about this weekend, as Muse Music Cafe holds its third annual Punk-O-Rama. In a town where punk is by no means the main draw for most concertgoers, the event is a unique opportunity to emphasize the genre as well as introduce it to those who are unfamiliar with it.
“There aren’t really any punk shows in Utah County,” said Gilbert Cisneros, an employee of Muse Music. “So it’s cool to make a huge deal out of this one show when we are featuring so many good punk bands.”
Cisneros, an avid punk fan, has taken the responsibility of organizing and promoting this show. Considering punk isn’t the most popular music style in Provo, the event is sure to be a must-see for fans.
“If you like punk music and live in Utah County, you should be there,” Cisneros said. “Stuff like this doesn’t happen that often in Provo.”
Both local and touring bands will take the stage at Punk-O-Rama, including, among others, Apocalypse Radio, Big Trub and Problem Daughter — a popular Salt Lake City group who has opened for some of the biggest punk bands who have come through Utah on tour.
Trey Bird, drummer for Problem Daughter, said the event at Muse Music offers Utah County music fans a chance to expand their taste and experience something they don’t hear every weekend.
“I think it’s cool what they’re doing here,” he said. “It introduces people to different kinds of music and that’s the great part about the punk scene; everyone is welcome.”
Bret Meisenbach, drummer for Big Trub and co-owner of Black Pyramid Recording in Provo, explained the broad appeal punk music has.
“When you’re in a punk band, you don’t have to be constrained to the rules of any one style,” he said. “Most punk bands have to play in mixed-genre shows because the punk scene in Utah County isn’t big enough to support all-punk shows every weekend. But it’s the best because it introduces tons of people to music they like but wouldn’t necessarily seek out.”
Meisenbach also said the same freedom that makes punk music so enjoyable for fans can act as a two-edged sword, alienating those who only want to hear what’s in vogue.
Despite it’s polarizing nature, however, Cisneros explained that punk is special because it’s more than just a style of music. The essence of punk, he said, envelops an attitude and the expression of that attitude, whether that be through art, fashion or actions.
“The punk attitude is that you do what you want and you don’t care what people think,” he said. “If you like what you’re doing, do it, and if no one else likes it, that’s their problem.”
Bird echoed Cisneros’ sentiment and explained why, although it may not be the most trendy genre of music, punk will never die.
“It’s the purest form of self-expression,” he said. “That’s why punk is never going to go out of style. The ideal of punk is doing what you want and the other stuff doesn’t matter.”