Laura's 2019 Recap

Looking back on 2019, I am blown away by the amount of beautiful experiences I had. To say last year was a wild ride is an understatement. As humans we grow and change all the time, but for me 2019 was really about finding myself and embracing the shit out of that. Flaws and all. I am so very grateful to be part of Mable Syndrome, as I feel this whole punk rock community has saved my life on more than one occasion. Being able to connect and meet so many people with a common passion fills my heart and fuels my fire. I love to be inspired.

Laura & Friends

Located in the middle of New York State, I’m a few hours away from a lot of major areas in all directions. I have been lucky enough to get some travel time in 2019 and see over 60 bands live. This year I have explored the great city of Pittsburgh, made my trek to Ohio for Camp Anarchy, flew to Denver as well as some other quick trips in between…all for the love of punk rock!

I got started a bit late in the year, but quickly made up for it. At the end of March, I hopped in my truck and made my way west to Buffalo, New York for The Interrupters, Masked Intruder and Ratboy. To no surprise, this show quickly sold out. Seeing The Interrupters live is always so much fun and it has been truly wonderful to watch them grow and do great things over the course of their career. After the show, it was back to reality at work for a bit. After all, I had to save up for my most anticipated event of 2019: Camp Anarchy Fest.

Aimee Interrupter

Camp Anarchy

On May 30, my friends and I arrived in Thornville, Ohio for one of the best weekends of our lives. Luck was on our side as we won a contest granting us all-access passes to Camp Anarchy Festival. The events kicked off the following afternoon and we took full advantage of those passes. I talk a lot, but I was left totally speechless quite a bit of the time throughout the weekend.

Camp Anarchy passes

La Armada kicked off day one and I enjoyed their set as well as Death By Stereo’s from the Beer Garden, where you could sample tons of different beer from breweries all across the states. Good and drunk, I made my way to the center of the pit for Strung Out and Sick Of It All, two of my all time favorite bands. I had the pleasure of meeting Jake Kiley and Jason Cruz of Strung Out and my night was instantly made. It’s amazing when you have the opportunity to express gratitude to those who have made such a positive impact on your life. From side-stage, I watched Fear and X with my jaw on the floor the whole time. Being able to experience that with some of my very best friends was something I will never ever forget.

Day two kicked off in the Beer Garden once again! I ran as fast as I could when Voodoo Glow Skulls began the first set of the day. They are always such a great time live, and Efrem is the perfect frontman for the band. I made my way backstage for A Wilhelm Scream and sang my heart out to every song. The Suicide Machines were up next, so you know I was dancing until the music stopped! The whole crowd seemed to really erupt during their set and it was amazing to feel the energy. Off! took the stage next, followed by The Damned.

Nuno of Wilhelm Scream

The whole weekend was packed with tons of old school and new school punk rock. I was able to see bands I never thought I would get to see. My friends and I were lucky enough to hang out with all of Pennywise and join them onstage during their set. Singing Bro Hymn with my best friends in front of thousands of people was a surreal moment and I am still in shock about it. As soon as their set was done, I made my way back into the crowd with my friends for Rancid. Screaming every song word for word from the middle of the pit with my friends in my arms is the best feeling in the world, and I had that feeling during Rancid’s entire set. We walked to the campsites and partied with our Punks Pitchin Tents family until it was time to get some rest for Sunday’s events. Let me also just add this: Punks Pitchin Tents was created for us all to meet up at camp, and I’ve meet up with members of this group at EVERY single show I have gone to since. I love how we have all come together and stayed together. These people are my family.

Laura singing with Pennywise

Where do you think we started Sunday? If you guessed the Beer Garden, winner winner! Spanish Love Songs kicked off the afternoon, followed by The Bombpops. My friends and I hung out with members of the Bombpops at the Stupid Rad Merch tent after their killer set. They scheduled a meet and greet and damn near half the crowd was in line! If you know them, you know why. They’re super rad people with hearts of gold and the best senses of humor.

I was lucky enough to be able to interview Matt Caughthran of The Bronx before their set. I watched the first few songs from side-stage, but quickly found myself running into the crowd to really enjoy it. The Bronx are another one of my all time favorite bands. Matt, in my opinion, has one of the best voices in punk rock and I love the energy they continuously bring. TSOL took the stage next and for the first time of the whole weekend, I watched from the picnic tables by the food trucks. At this point, I felt like I was close to death and needed some water and chow.

Matt from The Bronx with Laura

While it was a totally different experience, I’m so glad I was able to really take in the music for what it was. I hammered down a shitty slice of pizza and some water just in time for Less Than Jake. I ran with my best friends to the center of the crowd and danced until I couldn’t breathe. Hands down one of my favorite sets of the entire weekend.

Bad Religion was up next and blew everyone’s minds. They played a full set, nonstop, leaving us all wanting more. 30 seconds later, they burst into Change of Ideas and played the entire No Control album back to front. The crowd was going absolutely insane with Bad Religion fueling us even more for the sweet return of NOFX that was about to happen next.

My friends and I made our way backstage for NOFX and we were invited to join the band onstage for their entire set. We partied onstage alongside members of Less Than Jake, The Bombpops and fellow punk rockers during the band’s first performance in the United States in over a year. We watched the crowd go wild during their entire set as we sang our hearts out on the stage with our PPT family. I am so glad these people were by my side for this.

Laura's view from backstage at NOFX

After NOFX, we headed to the campground for some final hangs with our PPT family. Camp Anarchy 2019 was one of the greatest experiences of my life to date. The memories made, the bonds created, the music played….everything was perfect and I would do it again every summer for the rest of my life. The 8 hour drive back home made my post-show depression even worse, but back to reality for a couple months.

Punk in Drublic and More

August kicked off with a bang as my friends and I head to Rochester, NY for Bad Religion and The Lawrence Arms. The streets were lined with punk rockers waiting for the doors to open. Nice and sweaty during The Lawrence Arms, I sang along word for word with a smile of my face. Bad Religion graced the stage shortly after for one of the best sets I have ever seen live. For me, Bad Religion is one of those bands I’ve seen quite a few times, but I am consistently blown away by the raw talent radiating off of those guys as they play and never miss a beat. I had the pleasure of meeting Jay Bentley and Mike Dimkich after their show and chatting about Mable Syndrome! The venue, the crowd, the set list…everything was perfect and made this show one of my favorites of the year.

Bad Religion

The end of August came flying by quick, and so was I! Up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight, I was on my way to Colorado for Punk In Drublic at Red Rocks. Never in my life did I think I’d see a punk show at Red Rocks, but how could I pass that up? It was a truly surreal experience. My all time favorite band Bad Cop Bad Cop kicked off the music for the day with a fantastic set. I’m not kidding when I say punk rock saved my life, and I owe that to Bad Cop Bad Cop. I’m always so moved every time I get to see them live, so being able to experience them at Red Rocks was more than I could have ever imagined. I enjoyed some rad hangs with Jen of The Bombpops and Milo Carlisle as they came up in the crowd to say hello after Bad Cop Bad Cop. Milo probably has about 15 Mable Syndrome stickers!

Laura & Jen of The Bombpops

Teenage Bottlerocket was up next and they are always a freaking blast. Some failed attempts at mosh pits happened, but we all made it work! The Lawrence Arms took the stage next and I watched quite a bit of their set from the very top of the amphitheatre. One of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen, with the best soundtrack.

The Bouncing Souls were up next, so I made my way back down to my friends and screamed every song with my people. With one melodic punk anthem after another, I lost my voice during their set. I felt all the love in the world as my friends and I sang in each other’s arms. It was almost like Red Rocks was made for Greg’s voice, the way it carried through the amphitheatre was absolutely beautiful.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes came out just before the sun went down. The entire crowd was going absolutely fucking insane jamming out to our favorite cover band. It was like a giant party inside a giant party! NOFX played a full set and sounded pretty awesome. The last time I saw NOFX, I was onstage and while it was an awesome experience, the sound was fucking horrendous. It was rad to be able to enjoy them from in the crowd again.

Then came the moment we were all waiting for. Baz’s Philharmonic Orchestra joined the stage with NOFX and so began The Decline; in its entirety, with a full orchestra. I managed to bolt back up to the very top again to enjoy this, as I knew it would likely never happen a