After a long absence, our show review feature, Wow What a Show! is back. Today, Andrew Underwood reviews:
Sudor, Kurraka, and Replica at El Rio in San Francisco, CA, 5/25/13
It’s about time for Chaos in Tejas, and you all know what that means — well, some of you do anyway: a lot of your local punx are suddenly MIA and there are a ton of awesome bands from far away and overseas gigging to and/or from their gigs in Austin. Last weekend, SUDOR (from Spain) came through San Francisco’s El Rio with tour mates KURRAKÄ (Austin, TX) and support from local ragers REPLICA en route to their own Tejas engagement. With so many stalwart local punx out of town and the venue itself being half given over to some kind of DJ night, the crowd was an interesting mix of Mission regulars, dance aficionados and leather-clad punkers, all mingling amicably in the large courtyard over drinks and smokes as the night wore on.
I doubt much more needs to be said about REPLICA in the pages of MRR (digital or otherwise). We cover a wide range of punk genres, and there are a lot of punks with strong opinions in the mix, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t at least grudgingly admit that Replica is one of the best bands going, Bay Area or otherwise. Even on this evening, faced by a (let’s say) slightly-less-rapturous-than-usual response Replica brought the absolute goods. Driving, heavy, spartan hardcore played by a band that usually look like they’re having a ball doing it.
KURRAKÄ was new to me, though their demo had been generating some buzz at the MRR compound. They seemed to be a bit put off by the aged hippie sound guy who is unfortunately a fixture of the El Rio, and has served as the terrible, amateur hour, uninvited emcee of every show I’ve seen there. Frankly, I don’t blame them. But when they were finally able to play it was a satisfying blend of pared down, minor-chord punk and Rudimentary Peni-esque spookiness.
Finally, SUDOR. Now, I don’t mean to say that the other bands weren’t good. They absolutely were. But fucking Sudor performed with the fervor of a Pentecostal revival revue dedicated to the worship of Spanish punk. It was a blazing, fantastic set delivered at maximum volume and energy, and included a note-perfect Eskorbuto cover that fit more than comfortably alongside their originals. Every once in a while a band comes along and lifts my faith in punk even when I didn’t know it was flagging and Sudor definitely did that for me with their set. Hopefully everyone else in the states who’s been gifted a chance to see them has felt or will feel the same.