Ink

After Hours: Bands and fans gather in an ancient punk ritual

Guttermouth frontman Mark Adkins led his band through a raucous performance at RecordBar.
Guttermouth frontman Mark Adkins led his band through a raucous performance at RecordBar. Special to The Star

To the uninitiated, a mosh pit churning with sweaty, thrashing bodies can appear violent or even brutal. But there’s a positive charge to the crowd that can’t be missed. Fans help each other up as they fall, strangers stand arm in arm before thrusting one another into the maelstrom. It’s barely controlled chaos.

Punk rock shows have changed very little in the genre’s more than 40 year lifespan. It’s immutability is a testament to its power and function. It’s an outlet for aggression and protest. Saturday’s showcase of punk rock history at the RecordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd., was no different. The bands — punk legends the Queers, Guttermouth and Agent Orange, as well as relative newcomers the Atom Age — ripped though loud, aggressive sets, and the crowd returned the energy like some atomic level transference of electrons.

After Hours is Christopher Smith’s photo column exploring Kansas City at night. Send story ideas to info@inkkc.com.

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