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Oldest punk rock club on the East coast presents: Reagan Youth

Monday nights are nothing to the punk scene

Photographer: Bobby Whitmire 

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The oldest punk rock club on the East coast did it again. They managed to pack the world famous Milestone on a Monday night with people of all ages that didn’t give a damn about work the next morning. Pulling that off is no easy task, but when you have a legendary punk band like Reagan Youth headlining a show packed with some of NC’s best bands, it’s certainly doable.

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No Anger Control never holds anything back. The intensity and energy they bring to the stage is always enough to leave the audience in awe. You know these guys are doing something great when they do their soundcheck and the room turns into an instant circle pit.

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It only got more wild when they actually started their set; turning the audience into a blur of fists and feet as everyone scrambled for the stage to sing along with Tiff. I’m never disappointed by this band and the passion for what they do. Tiff’s response to a random, almost-mandatory-at-a-punk-show “fuck you” from somewhere in the crowd? “No, fuck you!  … I think that means I love you, guys.”

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DSR have become an icon of NC punk rock and with good reason. Seeing them play is always chaotic, and it fits their sound perfectly. A mix of punk, metal, hardcore, and anything else they want to throw in, going to a DSR show means you don’t just watch – you participate with the chaos taking place on stage.

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Whether piling onto the stage or crawling over that pile to scream the lyrics back in their faces, the crowd made sure DSR felt the love in the room.

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Pleasures of the Ultraviolent made their way down from the mountains of Asheville, NC to make sure the crowd continued to move as Monday night turned into Tuesday morning. Fast and aggressive hardcore punk, with a few slower ska-inspired sections sprinkled in occasionally meant the crowd didn’t stop moving until they finished up their set.

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Whether it was stomping balloons or piling onto the crowd to sing along with the audience, this band knows how to deliver a stellar live performance that almost forces a smile across your face.

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Reagan Youth is known to the world over as one of the most influential punk bands in history. I never thought I would see this band play as a 15 year old kid singing along to “Degenerated” but I guess anything is possible. “I’m so happy to be in North Carolina… we’ve been as far south as Norfolk, then always skipped over the Carolina’s straight to Georgia, so this is our first time in North Carolina,” guitarist and founding member Paul Bakija stated. He followed that up with a very important question to the crowd, “Now, where should we get breakfast tomorrow?”

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The band played all their classics and the audience sang along with every word. It was such a cool feeling getting to see a room full of people sing along to some of my favorite songs growing up, but my two personal favorites had to be “No Class” and “Degenerated.” The band played their set, but were unable to leave the stage as the room full of people kept yelling for more. I’ve seen some of the “classic” punk bands in the past decline to play an encore, but Reagan Youth said no problem and promptly picked up their instruments again.

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They’re truly a “bucket list” band for the people that weren’t around or old enough to see the original lineup in the 80’s. The only shows they currently have listed are in Europe at the beginning of April, so if you missed this last tour down the southeast, be sure to stay up-to-date by stopping by their Facebook page and seeing when they’ll be in your area.

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Check out a gallery of the night here!

Charlotte-area native, Bobby Whitmire, grew up heavily involved in the NC/SC hardcore punk music scene playing and booking shows. After a decade of moving around the country he settled in Charlotte again, where he decided to start school. At the end of 2014 he "borrowed" his family's old film camera that hadn't been touched in years, and since then you'd be hard-pressed to find him without at least one camera on him. In 2015 he decided to combine his love of punk and metal music with the passion he had for photography.

1 Comment

  • The Ghost of Dave Insurgent

    / Reply

    Please stop playing. Let me rest.
    All this spinning in my grave is driving me nuts.

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