RxBandits rock The Pit

Editor’s Note: Due to spacing conditions, this review is a little late in coming. Nevertheless, The Pit deserves recognition.

Five diverse punk rock bands converged at the Pit Skatepark for a night of loud, rebellious music. The California-based RxBandits stopped in Rockford June 28 as one of the many destinations on their “Sell You Beautiful” tour. The ska/punk/reggae outfit is currently promoting its album, The Resignation, which hit the shelves July 15.

The only local band, Chasing Link, kicked off the five-hour event with its high-energy performance at 7 p.m. These self-described, “violin rockers” were followed by The Fight, an English punk band. The female-fronted group entertained the crowd with wild stage antics and catchy songs. The hard rock oriented Fairweather was next with a short set lasting no more than 20 minutes. No Motiv was the final opening band to perform. They distinguished themselves by playing more melodic punk rock tracks from their Daylight Breaking EP.

The headlining RxBandits took the stage at 11 p.m. The six-piece band is led by talented guitarist/vocalist Matt Embree, whose unique and energetic delivery reached Joe Cocker proportions at times. The punk-based group branched into the ska/reggae realm with contributions from Chris Sheets on trombone and Steve Borth on saxophone.

The band filled its hour-long show with a mix of old and new material. The knowledgeable crowd sang along to several songs, including “Consequential Apathy” off the 2001 album, Progress. Another highlight was the antiwar anthem, “In All Rwanda’s Glory.” Much of the group’s material expresses its ardent liberal views and desire for peace and unity in the world. The new songs the Bandits played were also well received by the audience.

The Pit provided a relaxed atmosphere for the fans. Skateboarders flew by handmade “Ride At Your Own Risk” signs in between sets. Members from the various bands mingled with the crowd and even practiced their own skateboard tricks with other concertgoers. For more information on future shows at the Pit visit www.pitsk8park.com.

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