The air was thick with the smell of beer and sweat, perfectly groomed punk rock haircuts flew back and forth in tempo with the high energy rendition of Diarrhea Planet’s Baba O’ Reilly.
The eager faces of the fans at the High Noon contorted and bobbed in response to the epic show. The entirety of the Wednesday night’s show was a melting pot of punk, scream and powerful rock. The sets were short, the hair was long and the rocking was intimate and genuine.
There was no barrier between the crowd and all three acts, Fire Retarded, Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires and Nashville native and national act Diarrhea Planet engaged the audience with their sweat and head banging flowing locks.
The night began with local act Fire Retarded, a powerful semi scream-o High Noon institution. The seasoned Madison talent enraptured the building crowd. They ended with some restrained guitar acrobatics. They bounced around the crowd twirling their instruments. They looked like mixologists with huge, expensive cocktail shakers and inhibitions about going full tilt punk before the headliners.
Their antics were just a teaser for Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires heavy rock set. They played with distortion and feedback but put a heavy emphasis on reverb. Throughout the set the lead singer joined the bobbing crowd to rub elbows literally with dedicated concertgoers. Their passion was palpable and evident in their streaming sweat and twisted screaming faces.
Diarrhea Planet’s frontman Jordan Smith proclaimed it one of the best shows they had seen Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires perform on their tour. DP responded with an equally high-energy performance. Their four lead guitars worked harmoniously together to create a thick wall of sound. One that contributed to a full atmospheric sound but allowed for Appleton, Wisconsin, native Ian Bush’s distinct percussion to penetrate the wall.
It was easy to get lost in a trance of rhythmic guitar that would only end once Smith graced the front row with his gyrating hips and guitar play. Their set didn’t last more than one hour, but the crowd moshed, bounced and screamed to DP’s power rock.
The highlight of the show was their cover of The Who’s Babo O’Reilly a classic rock anthem. The primarily older crowd chanted back “It’s only teenage Wasteland” as Smith sang directly to the crowd. The song ended with Smith leaping gloriously into the crowd.
The small High Noon stage was crowded with guitars and flowing locks, but the southern-based band looked totally at ease commanding the rocking Sconnie crowd.