Destroy Boys, Scowl, and Skylar Symone and the Local Enigma @ The Crystal Ballroom

Sidonia Ohringer 6/4/22

The second summer emerging from lockdown the tone of cultural facets as we knew them has changed, both physically and beyond. 

The Crystal Ballroom in Somerville’s Davis Square finished its renovation in 2021, offering a space with clean wood floors, two sleek bars, and a myriad of its namesake across the ceiling – crystal chandeliers. The space sits above the Somerville Theatre, an impeccably kept classic theater. 

As you wait in line for your show, do not let the glamor of the Somerville Theatre nor the minimalist sophistication upon arriving in The Crystal Ballroom deter you from the reality of the venue.

Destroy Boys’ American Takeover tour started in May this year after the release of their third album, Open Heart, Open Mouth, in October of 2021. Destroy Boys played songs both from their latest album as well as some of their beloved old songs, even taking a poll from the audience on which they would rather hear. Standing at stage left, I had the opportunity to enjoy Violet Mayugba’s zealous headbanging while playing the guitar, exciting the crowd, providing backup vocals, and using the guitar pedal board with absolute ease. 

Opening for the national tour was Santa Cruz-based hardcore band Scowl, whose screaming lyrics and reverbs created a mosh pit that neither the venue’s limited security staff nor their small signs encouraging against moshing in the back of the space could reign in. Similarly, Skylar Symone and the Local Enigma, a band of Emerson College students commenced the night with their eclectic, electric sound. 

In true punk fashion, contrasting the polite decor of the venue was the Gen Z of Somerville’s own ode to Vivienne Westwood. Among the sold out show were an array of  deconstructed tops, necks adorned in chains, and box-dyed mullets.

At this early June performance, both Scowl and Destroy Boys acknowledged the beginning of pride month. What is now seen as a month long celebration, pride was often associated with protest in the previous century. In recent years, the celebration has been corporatized by attempts to turn a profit from rainbow-swathed advertising. However, this show expressed the true spirit of action in pride by inviting intermission speakers from local mutual aid groups and fostering an all-embracing space for thrashing to anti-establishment lyrics. 

This June 3rd at The Crystal Ballroom reminded Boston that pride can also look like community action, radical self-acceptance, and an all-black wardrobe.