Sam Kless holding up a microphone

Mom Jeans take Barracuda

By Danielle Ortega
Local Music Journalist

Wow, just wow! This show was one for the books. Everything about it was simply fantastic, and it was beyond worth freezing to death. I’d never been to a show at Barracuda before, and I absolutely loved it. The venue was small and intimate despite the show being completely sold out.

The first act, Retirement Party, a band from Chicago set the tone for the night. They made the atmosphere cool and enjoyable, to the point where there were moments where I felt like I was at a house show with a cup of coffee. Retirement Party just had this ability to make you feel like you were all friends, and that they were performing the show just for you simply because they enjoyed it so much. I was blown away by how at home and comfortable they made everyone feel, whilst also emitting this energy that made you feel so alive. They played some songs off of their old album, and a few off of their new album, my favorite being “Passion Fruit Tea.”

The next band of the evening, was Awakebutstillinbed. It happened to be the lead singer’s birthday, so the entire crowd took to singing for her before they began their set. The set was very high energy and quite punky. They played songs from their first and only album, What People Call Low Self-esteem Is Really Just Seeing Yourself The Way That Other People See You, which they released earlier this year.

The third opener was Just Friends, and wow, they were so rad. The band is made up of a bunch of, well, friends. It was obvious that they got so much joy from just being around each other, as it spilled out of them and into the crowd. The lead singers Sam Kless and Brianda Goyos Leon made the show incredibly lively as they ran around, danced, told jokes, and got the crowd moshing. The mix of rap and punk was so thrilling and enjoyable. The band also tied in a trombone, which Bart from Mom Jeans was playing. I’d yet to have attended a show with a trombone, and it was such a good added layer to the music that helped it to reach far back into the audience wrapping everyone up in their unique sound. The band continuously called their manager Joel up onto the stage, turning it into a hilarious bit, as the crowd continued to chant his name. Just Friends even did a quick ode to San Marcos by covering a bit of BROCKHAMPTONS “GOLD.” This is definitely a band that deserves a listen, as everything about them is so genuine and simply cool as heck.

Bart from Mom Jeans playing guitar
Mom Jean’s taking the stage at Barracuda. Photo by Danielle Ortega.

The main performer of the night was Mom Jeans, and they were everything I hoped they would be! They were so kind and humble, and even during their own set they had some members from Just Friends and Awakebutstillinbed perform a couple of songs with them. They played quite a few crowd favourites, and you could tell the way the entire venue exploded into an enormous mosh pit, and everyone (performers included) was crowd surfing. They shifted between really fast paced, hype songs, and some that were a bit more chilled and groovy. The juxtaposition between the two, along with Bart killing it on the trombone made for a truly amazing set. They finished off the chilly night with a highly longed for encore.

If you get the chance to see any of these four bands, I would highly recommend it. It was such an amazing way to spend a night.

Featured image by Danielle Ortega.

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