Achievement Unlocked: Punk Rock Arcade

The Rough Customers/Sempervivi/When Autumn Calls
February 7, 2019 @ The Burl

After working a full day, my wife and I spent the better part of the evening putting off household chores. We bounced around ideas of things to do to avoid the dreaded pile of laundry in the basement. I cycled through my Facebook feed for what seemed like the millionth time, until I saw the flier for ‘The Punk Rock Arcade Party’ featuring  three Lexington punk bands at the Burl: The Rough Customers, Sempervivi, and When Autumn Calls. I suggested we attend. She obliged.
I hate showing up late to things, although our friends know that my wife and I are habitual late-comers. We arrived at The Burl after music had already started. There were people lounging outside, listening from underneath the canopy despite the chilly rain.

We approached the open door. As the volume grew louder, so did the looming/underlying anxiety of our late arrival. When Autumn Calls had already started their set before we arrived.  Thankfully, we had only missed the opening song by the time we made it inside the venue to see them. We weaved through the onlookers to find an open pocket in front of center stage. There was a fair number of people from the audience shouting along with Jacob Kerfoot’s chants in their song “Reefer Madness,” making the lyrics resonate. The opening chords for a cover of “When I Come Around” drew a cheer from the crowd as 90’s kids and seasoned punks alike sang along to Green Day’s radio hit. They rounded out the set with a few new songs, ending on their short but sonically pleasing powerhouse track “Bible Belt.” Finishing their set facing one another smiling with backs to the crowd truly shows the camaraderie these guys share.

Sempervivi began their set with a stacked setlist with songs like “Ride Or Die” and “Room Is Lava” before surprising the crowd with their song “Full Body Freakout” which blends punk rock chording and chap-wearing western noodling. Lead vocalist Derek Price mentioned this being their first time playing at The Burl as a full band. They continued chugging through songs while also taking the time to tell stories and tease audience members. When starting their closing song “Nobody Cares,” bassist Jeremiah Floyd leaped from his amp as he and drummer Simon Ricapa burst into the song. Despite beginning 2019 with a new lineup, Derek Price and the guys in Sempervivi play a polished high energy set that any punk rocker would be happy to mosh to.

While The Rough Customers set up their gear, we stepped outside to chat with some friends who also braved the rain for the festivities. I also had a chance to catch up with Bradley Turner from When Autumn Calls to congratulate him on a great set. Back inside for soundcheck I was surprised by the number of people arranging on stage to perform, noting the matching uniform red in a variety of articles of clothing. With perfectly timed chants, well choreographed flair, and stage lights reflecting off the brass instruments visible from across the room, their performance was visually stunning.

I was more than pleased to see a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd that took the time to come out on a rainy Thursday night to catch three bands prominent in the Lexington punk music scene. Punk lives on!

Zane Brammell is a Lexingtonian, originally from Eastern Kentucky. His music interests range from 50’s doo-wop to modern rock and is a longtime punk rocker. He’s currently studying to be a Special Education teacher. You will either find him spending time with family or performing with his band, Whalerus.