Guttermouth Brings Showmanship Back to Punk Rock
February 21, 2015
The Observatory, Santa Ana, CA
There’s something to be said for an entertainer who is a true, unbridled natural. In spite of microphone malfunctions, singer Mark Adkins gave The Observatory’s Saturday matinee crowd the kind of punk show fans have come to expect from Guttermouth; raunchy, rowdy, and offensive in full blown punk tradition. Fun is an understatement when describing any Guttermouth show, but Saturday’s performance was more. The gig included a full house with every age of punk enthusiast doing their best to elbow, kick, and push their way into their own little piece of punk rock history. Eyes were blackened, elbows were thrown, and in the end, the concert goers got what they came for, a real punk show in all of its glory.
Guttermouth puts on one hell of a show thanks to dedication by every member, but a review of this band would be incomplete without mention of Mark’s extreme enthusiasm, personable attitude, and give-it-your-all heart. Fun banter with 8 year olds… why not, wrestling match with hard-core female punk fan on stage… sounds perfect, losing the microphone to your obnoxious fans… required. Guitarist Geoff Armstrong proved an enthusiastic sidekick to Mark’s antics. He managed to keep the band in a continual forward arc while entertaining the many interruptions of stage divers, backstage fans, and photographers who couldn’t help but step right onto the stage, and into the shenanigans, to get their shot. It cannot go unmentioned how out of their way Guttermouth went to engage the younger fans in the crowd. It was an appreciated effort that earned the band new fans of all ages. Although, I would love it if my 10 year old would stop singing “Lipstick” (Musical Monkey, 1997) around the house – disturbing at best (they aren’t called Guttermouth for nothing!).
Highlight songs of the afternoon included: “Perfect World” (Musical Monkey, 1997), “Lucky the Donkey” (Musical Monkey, 1997), “Bruce Lee vs. The Kiss Army” (Full Length LP, 1992), and my kid’s favorite Guttermouth anthem, “Marco-Polo” (The Album Formerly Known as a Full Length LP, 1991) which always lends itself to enthusiastic crowd participation… “fish out of water!” I love this band, bad mic and all.
I can especially appreciate that they are allegedly excluded from many “reputable” venues in Orange County (According to Guttermouth, I’m talking about you, HOB Anaheim, among others) for having too rowdy of a fan base. I love that they don’t give a shit. Hats off to you for not selling out Guttermouth and kudos to your fans for staying too badass for some O.C. venues.
Sarah Tonin –
13 Stitches Magazine Reviewer