After four nights in a row opening for Jawbreaker, the Linda Lindas took to Mercury Lounge for their first headlining show in New York City.
Last summer, the Linda Lindas went viral after their performance at the LA Public Library where they ripped through their intense, empowering, and straight to the point punk number "Racist Sexist Boy." Ever since, the band has been riding a wave of well-earned critical acclaim and fandom which has brought them to a bigger label, late night TV, given them the chance to play with some of their heroes, and rock out at shows from coast-to-coast. This spring, the band released their Epitaph debut and have subsequently kept the momentum going as they continue to rock and charm their way through their promotional cycle with extreme joy and professionalism. On their first headlining show in NYC, the band seemed utterly thrilled to be on stage at a packed club after spending a week in New York (for half the band, this was the first time they'd ever visited the city) and getting to miss out on school and homework. "We have 17 songs" proudly exclaimed Lucia de la Garza, guitarist and vocalist, and they played nearly all of them. With topics ranging from experiencing lockdown in isolation as kids, growing up, their cats, magic, and more, their enthusiastic approach to punk is wonderfully charming, but still full of forever relatable teenage (and pre-teen) angst. However this isn't your typical high school band, this one can really rock and their witty and clever tracks channel influences way beyond their years (their set list included a cover of the Go-Go's "Tonight"). Smiles were permanently carved onto their faces and they took every moment they could to flip their hair and swing their guitars with killer charisma and abundant elation. People have been waiting for the death of rock and roll ever since it invaded popular culture and over the past few decades, it has seemed as if it could actually be on the decline. The Linda Lindas, however, aren't showing any signs that the kids today aren't here to rock and don't have anything real to say with their music. "Mondays suck so we're gonna let out all the bad stuff and make everyone outside hear us and want us to be quiet" shouted Bela Salazar as she led the crowd into a frenzied scream towards the end of their set. Youth is without question the fifth member of the band and their approach to songwriting doesn't do anything to keep that a secret, but it does reinforce the fact that the kids can always find a connection to rock and discover the basics to help bring their voices to the masses. Like so many bands before them who've developed their sound from a punk ethos, the Linda Lindas seem to do what they do best by embracing the primal and cathartic emotions of rock and prove that it can always resonate with those looking for a sense of belonging and purpose. “Cuántas Veces,” the band's track from their album that's sung in Spanish, finds Salazar recalling the pains of feeling like an outsider only to land on the opinion that there will always be a community out there full of acceptance: “I’m different / Not like everyone else,” she concludes. “And not the whole world / Will understand me.” The Linda Lindas have discovered this at a young age, but on top of that have also discovered the connection to others through rock and roll. On the standout "Growing Up" they come to the agreement that at least if they're growing up and experiencing the world, they're in it together and nothing will stop them and their music.