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When I walked into the sketchy Fulton Alley to the back entrance of Virginia Street Brewhouse, I didn’t know what to expect. It was my first time attending a punk rock concert, so I was more curious than anything. But at the end of the night, I became a devoted fan of three once unfamiliar bands. 

The night began with The Juvinals. The band describes their tunes as “Garage Punk’,” and that label fits. It suggests music that feels familiar, like that one friend of yours who always has band practice. It’s simple in its progression, and it uses instruments in a way that doesn’t scream innovation. Their music may not blaze a new trail, but it succeeds at reminding you of a feeling you’ve known all your life. Their melodies feel particularly personal for this reason. 

Quay Skankey/The Nevada Sagebrush
Opening band The Juvinals played their last concert Sept. 16.

The Juvinals’ song, “I Wear Red”, was electrifying. It has a very catchy chorus that has stayed in my head since attending the concert Sept. 16. After their last song finished, I found out that this was the Juvinals’ last performance. I find that disappointing since I listened to their music on Spotify more than any other band that played that night. The Juvinals may not be playing anymore, but I still urge readers to give their tunes a listen.

Donkey Jaw came on next and kept the momentum. Their music is reminiscent of 90s Pop Punk like Green Day. Their tracks are short and loud, yet harmonic. 

Donkey Jaw’s music is like a roller coaster that goes non-stop for about thirty minutes. I did tire about mid-way through, but with the performer’s excellent stage presence, I became full of energy again. That said, I would have preferred for them to have played first. They would work best as an opener to excite the crowd.

Quay Skankey/The Nevada Sagebrush
Donkey Jaw plays at the Reno Brewhouse Sept. 16.

While Donkey Jaw did not reinvent the wheel, they did make my heart pound hard like a jackhammer. My jaw dropped when it appeared the drummer had steam coming off of them during one of their songs.

Finally, Sucka Punch finished off the night with a bang. They brought so much energy and life to the stage. Everyone was out of their seats the entire time. The tenor saxophone player engaged with the audience on the balcony, making us excitedly jump like children. 

Sucka Punch defines themselves as “Ska-Punk,” and they are right to do so. Their music evokes feelings of independence with an optimistic tone. They want you to move past oppressive systems to “Be Yourself,” as one of their tracks is aptly titled. 

Quay Skankey/Nevada Sagebrush
Sucka Punch closed the concert with an impressive showing.

Sucka Punch’s song “Two Miles” sounded like a track that’d be played at the end of an early 90’s movie. That may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it very entertaining, and even nostalgic.

A highlight was when Sucka Punch played, “Bad Cop No Donut.” Their lyrics embodied the satirical nature that reminded me of the Dead Kennedys, especially when the vocalist, Mike Young, sampled the lyrics from the famous 90s song, “Bad Boys”. 

When the night was over, my heart was still racing. I knew that I would be returning once more for the thrills, the laughs and the fun that comes from attending Reno’s Punk Rock concerts. 

Quay Skankey can be reached via email at on Twitter @SkankeyQuay, or on Instagram @quay_skankey

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