AU's Student-Run Internet-Only Radio


AU's Student-Run Internet-Only Radio


AU's Student-Run Internet-Only Radio


At The Pie Shop

Graphic cropped from @dcgrindguild and @mxlonely on Instagram

What started as an impromptu decision to attend any venue in the city having a show that Friday turned into a surprisingly captivating night of live music. While contemplating which one would properly satisfy the desire to view high energy performances filled with recognizable fixtures of the DMV scene, the H Street venue, Pie Shop, cropped up numerous times. 

As someone with only a passing interest in punk, the Feb. 9 concert with local band Dosser seemed like a good place to go for a predictable, yet fun night of moshing, heavy riffs and energy: exactly what was being searched for. 

Commonly touted as one of the largest bands from the area, Dosser had been on my radar for months ever since their appearance at WVAU’s Capitol Boogie in the spring of 2023. After countless unavailable dates and far away venues, the time to see them in D.C. had finally come. Driving up in a group of five, conversations fueled by our anticipation created a tangible sense of excitement at the music this particular night promised. We had all either seen them up to this point or, in my case, had spent significant portions of our week listening to their discography in anticipation of the night’s event. 

Inside the venue, portraits of musical icons spread against red walls, boxes of vinyls spilled all over the dining area and, of course, there was lots of pie. Walking up the narrow corridor of stairs towards the classic sound of muffled power chords, driving bass lines and cymbal crashes, the ambiance was in full swing from the moment we began our wait. In line, my preconceived notions were set: this is a punk show, and we will likely need ear plugs. 

Once in the door, we watched as opener Day Aches lashed out in movements of punk angst. With music reminiscent of the famous bands ubiquitous with this eclectic scene, it felt as if a timeless show was being put on free from the stylistic constraints of any one decade or locale. Entering midway through their set, I had the impression nothing had been lost as each song blended into the next following old tropes of the ‘90s in perfect fashion all while blending a uniquely charged aesthetic reminiscent of no singular era. 

The three guitars, bass and drum combo lended the band a drudging sound that was almost bursting at the seams throughout their set as each member swayed to their distortion swells. The audience welcomed their slow, heavy sonic collages painted by an angered punk ethos as a fitting opener for the night. 

After the first artist’s transition, the crowd dispersed, space freed up and we moved to the front. This would prove a definitive viewing angle for our experience with the next act. 

As we waited in the indefinite space of time between sets, I noticed someone in the crowd donning a rather large cowboy hat and polo combo; interesting to say the least. This was made even more so as this individual climbed onto the stage within moments of my brief acknowledgement of their outfit. In hindsight I would’ve been much more excited for what was to come instead of surprised by this turn of events. 

Entering our field of view, MX LONELY of Brooklyn set up something I had yet to see in a punk show: a keyboard. Considering the cowboy hat, we already seemed to be in contact with an act out of the ordinary, and the instrumentation only solidified that. Within minutes of their brief line check, they treated the audience to a performance that no one asked for, but everyone loved. Over swells of guitar feedback, droning bass and thumping drums, we watched as the lead singer climbed amplifiers, strode into the pit and willed mosh pits into being. How they coerced an electric energy out of the crowd, and screamed back with an almost ironic recreation of the anger we’ve come to expect from punk performers was something I’ve yet to see in a live show. 

The energy carried over for the set’s entirety and held us through all the way until Dosser concluded the night. As they played an eclectic mix of their top songs and originals, my focus remained on the preceding performance. 

The visceral yet unassuming nature of their leader created a sense of urgency that has stayed in my head until today. It was a personal expression, despite how jarring and unconventional the show seemed at the time. As a punk artist who has a library of movements, performance styles, instrumental sounds and lyrical influences to draw from and reference, the uniqueness of this person captivating an audience and energizing it with the most personal feelings they have was a breath of fresh air. 

In the end, a band that was simply another name on the poster of a random Friday night show turned out to be an unforgettable presence on a bill of relatively homogeneous music from a scene that has been recycled, revived and reimagined time and time again over the years. 

May I see them perform once again with cowboy hats in tow.

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