There are two kinds of punk shows: bruising in the figurative sense, and bruising in the literal sense. The latter – a.k.a. those gigs that leave your knees covered with discolored blotches for several days after your ears stop ringing – are the rarer, fiercer treat.
Nashville’s Diarrhea Planet prefer the literal kind of punk show, and they performed on a wet Monday night in Denver with every intention of leaving physical reminders of their presence behind. And if the crowd’s wildly enthusiastic response is to be believed, most everyone was more than happy to sacrifice their bodies to the cause.
It takes no fewer than four guitars to concoct Diarrhea Planet’s raucous blend of balls-to-the-wall punk and 70s arena rock bombast. Between the long hair and the beer-stained t-shirts, the six-piece looked as though they stumbled off the set of Almost Famous into the nearly full Marquis; that they perform with the unbridled energy being almost famous demands is a happy coincidence. Save for a slight pause forced by a broken string, the band never bothered to stop and catch their breath. And the crowd loved them for it from start to finish.
The band loved the crowd right back. Singer-guitarist Jordan Smith declared the gig his favorite of the tour less than twenty minutes in. The career-spanning set featured cuts from 2014’s Aliens in the Outfield EP and both full-length albums, 2013’s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams and 2011’s Loose Jewels. The crowd sang along without having to be asked.
Playing the hell out of tried-and-true classic rock radio anthems seems to be the new black for contemporary rockers. You can thank (or blame, depending on your perspective) Ty Segall, who spent his last tour roughing up several Creedence Clearwater Revival staples during encores. For their own encore, Diarrhea Planet chose Thin Lizzy’s “Boys Are Back In Town” and The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”, the former a gesture of bro-punk love and appreciation to local openers Bud Bronson and the Good Timers. Hold on – can you call it an encore if the band doesn’t leave the stage?
In all fairness, the band did leave the stage multiple times throughout the set – but only if you count crowd surfing as a legitimate form of transportation. As for the minor injuries suffered by any audience members beneath them, everyone seemed in agreement that the terrific set made tomorrow morning’s aches and pains well worth the trouble.
Ghost With A Boner
Field of Dreams
Hammer of the Gods
White Girls (Student of the Blues) Pt. 1
Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy cover) [Encore]
Baba O’Riley (The Who cover) [Encore]