Hug me louder

A noisy night of emotional rock at 1078

Sunny Acres’ vocalist/guitarist Mike Justice warms up the 1078 Gallery crowd.

Sunny Acres’ vocalist/guitarist Mike Justice warms up the 1078 Gallery crowd.

Photo by Jessica Kohls

Le Wolves, Citysick, Creekside and Sunny Acres, Dec. 6, at 1078 Gallery

Promising “some punk rock holiday cheer,” 1078 Gallery got emo for Christmas. The volunteers laid out a red rug “stage” on the floor of the warehouse-styled art gallery and presented a four-hour wall of angst and emotion last Tuesday (Dec. 6).

Local bands Citysick, Sunny Acres and Creekside, plus Fresno invader Le Wolves, were all energetically on board for a night of catharsis—both for themselves and for the willing audience.

Chico band Sunny Acres opened the show with a solid front of screaming and hitting things as hard and as fast as one can, which is to say, they did everything right. The trio’s songs varied between slightly ska, grunge, punk and even power metal, but a loud-and-proud style permeated all of the genres. Drummer Manuel Lopes impressed with a blitzkrieg of percussion that built a foundation for the barely contained chaos. And the band’s cover of Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” did justice to the late legend.

Visiting garage/grunge/psychedelic/punk crew Le Wolves played a varied and unique set, equally at ease with mellow power ballads as go-as-fast-as-we-can punk. Peering out from a curtain of long hair, frontman Keanu Huerta showed impressive vocal range and dexterity and accompanied his singing with yelp-like war cries. Guitarist Nathan DeRaud shone during the song “B.M.M.” (“Beat My Meat”), a hard and chaotic and crunchy raver that gave him plenty of leeway to shred.

Though there had been two attempts to start a mosh pit during Le Wolves’ time on stage, it was local band Creekside that really got the crowd riled up with its angry and unapologetically emo style. The crowd pushed and threw elbows throughout the band’s set (much to the anguish of anyone unlucky enough to lose their footing on the gallery’s unforgiving cement floor). Creekside put forward a traditional emo set filled with tight and crisp guitars, drums and the obligatory “why me’s” that mark the genre.

If Creekside was emo, Citysick was super-duper emo. Vocalist/guitarist Kaleb Sievers opened the set asking the crowd to get closer because “we don’t really have songs to hit people to.” Instead, he explained, they play music to get sad to. The band’s set consisted of songs about alcoholism, drug abuse, missing the dead, depression and just being all-around good-for-nothing people. Its appropriately self-deprecating and depressive style worked well and ended the show on a high note. And as a last act of defiance, Sievers decided to quickly teach lead guitarist David Hollenbeck a new song—which turned out to be a cover of Smash Mouth’s “All Star”—which the band played roughly half of before throwing down their instruments and unceremoniously leaving the stage.

Their exit, loud and abrupt, was a perfect summation of the night.