On a brisk Monday night, feminist punk lovers gathered in the sold out White Schoolhouse in Lawrence Kansas, to hear New York natives, Diet Cig. Before the main act of the highly energetic lead singer, Alex Luciano, and soul wakening drummer, Noah Bowman, took the floor, three openers warmed the crowd up.
Starting with Lawrence locals, MK Ultra. This band consisted of all high school students who I would say help open the theme of the night. They sang about cultural appropriation and trans rights, opening by saying “Nothing pisses us off more than terfs, and for the two of you here who don’t know what that means, trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” I can suspect MK Ultra will be a name we will be hearing a lot more of locally as they received lots of love not only from the crowd, but from the following bands throughout the night.
Next to take the stage were the touring openers, The Spook School and Great Grandpa. The Spook School, a Scottish queer band, hooked me with their absolute high energy and cheeky yellow haired drummer who entertained the crowd in between songs. I also highly enjoyed the fact that when the drummer took off his shirt his nipples were taped over in a sly jab at societies views of nipples.
After The Spook School was done a mood change was casted as Great Grandpa came out with lead singer, Alex Menne, singing away from the crowd while twitching in a Joe Cocker-esk way, debatably with more angst. After feeling like I wanted to kill myself and sit crisscross on the floor with Menne, it was time for the anticipated main act.
The surprisingly tiny, yet insanely strong lead singer, Luciano, came out dancing, kicking, and being so absolutely energetic it rubbed off into the crowd. Although we were packed like sardines, we were all dancing, jumping and singing along as if it were our own performance.
In between the first set, guidelines were announced by Luciano that this was a space where one should feel completely safe to be their-self and that no one was to touch each other whatsoever without consent, ever for that sake.
Luciano’s vocals are just as captivatingly soft as they are raw with emotion as she belted “It’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt,” and jumping off the drum set (which she later announced was how she tore her ACL a while back). Noah Bowman’s insanely soul shuttering drumming made the duos perfect sound balance into that femme punk level they are known for.
They continued on with their set evoking such an intimate and passionate feeling out of me that I think was due to a mixture of the venue, the beautiful people around me, and the great femme punk songs of Diet Cig.
By: Sara Wallace