Posted November 20, 2014 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Entertainment

RVIVR Record Release

By Garrett Bekemeyer

The night began snug from the warmth of a fire at a friend’s house. I slugged back cans of Hamm’s while we read raunchy letters to the editor found within an issue of Penthouse from the mid-’70s to each other. We then bickered about whether leaving this ideal scenario to face the staggering cold and head down to the show was worth it. I remained steadfast in my chants of “COME ON LET’S GO” for about half an hour, and then we were off.

We showed up just late enough to miss a few of Dogjaw’s songs, much to my regret. The show was moved to Le Voyeur, as the planned venue Obsidian was still not ready for operation. However, this pushed the show earlier, so it could end at 10 p.m. in accordance with Le Voyeur’s all-ages policy.

Dogjaw kicked it off with a hell of a show. These punk champs know how to fucking shred. Their songs to me are what I think would play through my head as I picture myself blazing across the battlefields, war axe in hand, in a game of D&D. I think it’s the kind of sound that gets nerdy outcast kids pumped as hell. To me, their music gives an air of empowerment to the meek. Saying, “Things aren’t so bad kid, you fucking rule.”

Next, coming in hot and fast, was Delay from Columbus, Ohio. These poppy punk rockers were a staple in the music that made a young outsider weirdo punk like me feel sorta alright in high school. I hadn’t listened to them since way back then and was stoked as heck to see them play live, now a few years down the road. They delivered for damn sure. They powered through a quick set of jams that had the crowd furiously grinning and nodding along. I was feeling like a big old happy dweeb.

At this time, the beer from earlier had found most of its way out from my righteous grooving, so I went to the alley and chugged a couple to get ready for RVIVR to play their set. I don’t think I’ve missed a local RVIVR show in my nearly two years in Olympia. Usually, I see them in some basement with me standing up front, clutching a 40 to my chest and screaming along to every word. But now they were here at Le Voyeur ready to shred through their set in searing glory. They hit on all notes of their catalogue, including the crowd pleasing classic “Seethin,” a rip-roaring ballad about gettin’ your emotions out of you. Most, if not all, of the tracks from their new release were played, closing it out with the stellar title track “Bicker/Breathe.”

Seeing RVIVR is one of the few things left in this world that can pull some sort of emotion from me, and this comes especially hard with their song “Wrong Way/One Way,” a particularly great one to see performed live. It’s a song that can be summed up by, “the only person who can tell you who you are is you,” or maybe dealing with the struggles of what it means to be queer, something RVIVR are champions at. They do the best damn job of making you feel good about yourself.

Maybe that was the theme of the night. It’s cathartic to drink some beer and smile and scream and boogie down to empowering punk, whether it’s comfortable throwbacks to high school or getting in tune with whatever feelings you have with our hometown champions of the heart.