Cumgirl8 by c.b.Kidd

3/3 at Market Hotel

Despite the winter blues, going to a show made me remember why I love rock music so much.

By Layla Passman


In the winter, going out on weekday nights feels tedious. I teeter on the balance of fashion and warmth, of the heat of the venue and the freezing air of the smoking section. I never know if it’s worth the big coat or the 15-minute walk.

But March 3rd at the Market Hotel made me remember why I love rock music so much.

Dog Date, the first band on the bill, has been touring with the band Surfbort along the east coast and opened for Turnstile late last year. All members of the band were originally drummers, a rare feature in any music scene. Two drummers were on stage, playing completely in-sync, while the guitar and bass players threw down fast riffs. Dog Date plays with tempo a lot, speeding up and slowing down throughout the durations of their songs. They were clearly having fun on stage, as I saw multiple coordinated arm swings as they played their final notes.

Dog Date by Annalie Bouchard @annaliebouchard

Following Dog Date was Pussy Gillette, a three-piece group out of Austin who’ve also been touring alongside Surfbort. The band’s frontwoman, Masani Negloria, uses such punchy vocals that you can’t help but nod along. Songs vacillate between Spanish and English with Negloria giving mantras between each song. Their deep and sludgey bass makes you feel like you’re in someone’s basement in the 1970s, discovering the new beauty of rock—the power is right in front of you, and you can’t help but move to it.

The headliner was Surfbort, a popular punk band that has been gaining traction over the years partially due to the colorful lure of its leading member, Dani Miller.  Miller has caught the eyes of Gucci, amongst other celebrity orbits. This translated to the stage as Miller yelled theatrically to a sea of camera flashes. It also didn’t help that the band had a Vice documentary crew filming them on tour. Surbort’s performance felt more like camera play to me. While their energy was big, I didn’t come out of their performance feeling like I listened to anything new, different, or out of the ordinary. It acted as a reminder that having the goal of notoriety in music often causes bands to lose their focus. They remarked that this is their eighth year playing as a band, making me reflect on the prematurity of my own music ventures. It’s clear that Surfbort is fluent in rock. They moved seamlessly and performed to their best advantage. But does experimentation get lost as popularity grows?

Surfbort by @Mustee

Cumgirl8, one of the three opening bands, completely dove into the abyss of what rock can be. Not often do you watch a performance completely energized and inspired to reach for the new. Their sound takes post-punk in a more avant-garde and digital direction. I instantly drew a connection to the Raincoats, whose experimentation in the 70’s became influential to many, including Kurt Cobain. The group is evidently working to perfect their performances, using tools like microphone effects, drum machines, and even toy keyboards to show the audience who they are. They brought a colorful look into neo-futurism, and from their affiliation with the downtown fashion scene, you can tell that the group is on the cutting edge of both fashion and music, cementing themselves as subcultural tastemakers. I walked up to the merchandise table filled with admiration and tried to keep my cool as I talked to Veronika Villum, guitarist and singer for the band, who sold me a pair of hand-embroidered Cumgirl8 panties, which I found amongst an array of ornate clothing and accessories unlike the usual screen-printed band t-shirt.

As I moved through the venue, my eyes cruised around all of the cool-looking people, people whom I vaguely recalled from my Instagram or TikTok feeds. I wonder if they were looking at me, or just wanting to be looked at too. I swayed between feeling like I shouldn’t be there and feeling completely welcomed. These musicians, among others over the past year or so, have become characters of fame once again. Being a rockstar will always be cool. I keep stepping closer to the stage, hoping to get a glimpse of something bigger than the bands themselves.

Surfbort by @Mustee