The phrase ‘pop-punk’ might leave a negative connotation in people’s heads, reminding them of Vans Warped Tour bands whose time has come and gone. But Diet Cig marries fast-and-furious pop-punk power chords with simple and relatable lyricism brimming with confidence and subject matter that Blink-182 wouldn’t want to touch, like wanting to eat ice cream on your birthday. The duo of singer/guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman have sold out shows all over the country, including their stop at Rock and Roll Hotel. With this tour, though, the effervescent duo became a quartet by adding Spook School bassist AC Cory and keyboardist Karli Helm. But still, it was Luciano and Bowman that stole the show as they have time and again.
It may come to people’s surprise that Nick Cave and Karen O are just normal people off the stage. But concert-goers get so wrapped up in their show personas that the show paints a picture in their heads. The collective perception of a band creates a mythology. At DC9, a new mythology began to build around LA-based quartet Starcrawler. Singer Arrow De Wilde and guitarist Henri Cash met in high school in 2015, adding drummer Austin Smith and bassist Tim Franco soon after. Their debut single “Ants” was picked up on Elton John’s “Rocket Hour” show on Apple’s Beats 1, and they’ve made a huge splash on and off the stage since then. They've spit fake blood into the crowd. They've been kicked out of a Teen Vogue party. They’ve almost gotten into a fight with a photographer in San Francisco. And they’ve been slowly racking up appearances in publications like Vice, Vulture, and, surprisingly, Teen Vogue. There’s no doubt about it: Starcrawler is earning their place among the larger-than-life musical personas of Nick Cave and Karen O.