• LJ DeWitt

Punk In Drublic Pittsburg: Lineup Deep Dive

Punk In Drublic, a craft beer and music festival named after NOFX’s breakthrough album of the same name, has made a grand post-lockdown return. Since 2017, the festival has celebrated the independence shared by DIY-bands and small-time breweries alike. The festival tours through multiple U.S. cities; However, today we’ll be focusing on Pittsburgh's lineup. Punk In Drublic Pittsburg takes place at the Sandcastle Waterpark on Oct. 2nd.

The eponymous NOFX has spent the last 38 years encompassing the epitome of what your mom thinks punk is; garishly and aggressively anti-authoritarian, politically incorrect, and in need of a shower. That’s not an insult, that’s just OG punk. This festival isn’t just about old school, though. As it spans several generations and subgenres, Punk In Drublic’s lineup showcases the many different personalities of punk.

Pennywise has been a skatepark staple since their 1991 debut. While they do have a lot of revolution-inciting rhetoric, the meat of their message focuses on living life to the fullest. I love a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, and Pennywise is a fantastic example of that, as evident by the fact that one of their top songs is called “Bro Hymn”. But, if we’re going to discuss bands that know the value of a good joke, it’s time to talk about Less Than Jake.

Founded in 1992, Less Than Jake is the poppiest of these punk bands, and the festival’s token ska bunch. Though they certainly are more punk than pure ska, they’ve undeniably become notorious for predominant trumpet usage. Less Than Jake combines timeless lyrics composed of teenage heartbreak, rebellion, and life in a dead-end small town with a sound that’s effectively a Y2K time capsule, creating perfect earworm-inducing melodies.

From a band with an image as solid as a cartoon to a band that likes to say they have no image, let’s look at Sick Of It All. Spearheaded by brothers Lou and Pete Koller, SOIA formed in 1986. It didn’t take long for the group to cement themselves into the foundation of New York’s hardcore scene. Staying true to the genre’s roots, much of their infamy has been attributed to violence. However, the early years of rowdy teenage angst that bred this image are long gone, since replaced by punching wisdom delivered by razor sharp tongues. Frankly, a sentence I could’ve stapled to any band previously mentioned. However, the last two artists we have to talk about come from a newer era.

Get Dead got their start in 2007—Okay, so not that young, but they’re young enough to have a bandcamp profile. If you want some real kids, we’ll get there. First, let’s talk about Get Dead, a band that’s managed to put the words punk and Irish folk next to each other. If you’re a fan of the way Dropkick Murphy’s uses an acoustic guitar, you’ll love these guys. Existing at the intersection between punk and alternative, their hypersonic style delivers a powerful adrenaline rush.

As for those actual kids, teenage-fronted Philly boys Stolen Wheelchairs round off our list. “Fast, in your face”, they’ve keyed into the chief words to describe a punk band, but there’s one way they choose to describe themselves that’s a little bit more bizarre; “The Robinhoods of Healthcare”. Whether or not they actually steal wheelchairs, I don’t know, and for legal reasons, I don’t intend to find out. Of course, if you can make it out of a punk festival without being an accessory to a crime, did you even go to a punk festival?

Find tickets to Punk In Drublic Pittsburg here