201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


Punk is not Dead

Alyssa Corona
A punk crowd moshes in an empty skate pool in March 2024.

Maybe it was my first corny breakup, but when I was a freshman and a sophomore, I was into emo music a lot, from Alesana to Bring Me the Horizon to Pierce the Veil. I even paid $180 in 2022 for my My Chemical Romance Reunion Tour ticket. I got to go to Inglewood and squint at vocalist Gerard Way fiddling with a voice changer from literally hundreds of feet away. Yay.

I wanted more from my music.

Teens in a crowd-kill mosh (when moshing punks randomly punch and kick mosh pit bystanders) at an April 2024 Santa Ana backyard show.
(Alyssa Corona)

Later into sophomore year, I took a deep dive into metal. My love of thrash metal led me to D.R.I. From there it was Dr. Know, Black Flag, Bad Brains, and other classic punk bands. Listening wasn’t enough, though. I began playing punk on guitar rather than thrash which is how I played along with my punk inspirations. So my connection to punk emotionally was already strong when I went to my first local punk show.

A bunch of local punk bands played an Anaheim warehouse in mid-2023. I paid my $5 entry fee and found myself. New music. Fun. Loud music. Chaos. Aggressive music. It was my first mosh pit. I’d be in many, many more.

The raw, in-person emotionality was a breath of fresh air. I let everything out. I cut loose. It was therapy except sometimes your therapist punched you in the face.

The bands’ rawness and passion were unmatched. Local bands nearly always put everything into their music. This isn’t music for earbuds. This is music you should hear with your heart.

Teens moshing and crowd killing throughout a Santa Ana backyard show in April 2024 (Alyssa Corona)

Eventually I learned that punk isn’t just spiky jewelry and being tough. Punk’s about being yourself. Punk’s about not caring what anyone else thinks. Punk says, “Your opinion of me means nothing.” With this in mind, punk shows bring out the best in people. Punks are supportive, exciting, friendly, and fun because they’re independent and free of judgment. You’ll get shoved, but it’s not personal, and you can shove back harder. Much harder. 

Orange County’s punk scene encompasses bands, vendors, photographers, artists, and others, but most important is the audience that supports it. And, by extension, audience self-expression is central to the scene. Individuality is everything. Your opinion of someone wearing a Teletubbies onesie with sewn on patches literally doesn’t matter. That’s how punk and its audience stays true to itself.

Manzanita Skatepark in Anaheim hosts a free show with some of the best punk bands on May 25 from 6:30–10 p.m. I might go. You could go, too, I guess. I don’t care.

Click below to see more photos:



More to Discover