Punk bands leave fans head banging

The band Reclusr rocks out on stage at the Haven in Pomona on Friday night. Bandmates Freddy Soto on bass, Ethan Gerardi on drums and Paul Hernadez on guitar played with passion to the crowd. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook
The band Reclusr rocks out on stage at the Haven in Pomona on Friday night. Bandmates Freddy Soto on bass, Ethan Gerardi on drums and Paul Hernandez on guitar played with passion to the crowd. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Sheridan Lambrook
Staff Writer

The Pomona music scene is thriving at The Haven as the historic venue hosted four bands: The Reclusr, Velcro Wallets, Grauze, and Suburban Chicken Shit on Friday night.

Doors opened at 7 p.m. as people trailed into the venue. More than 100 audience members, of diverse ages attended the Friday show. 

The opener of the show Reclusr, a band from the Riverside area got the crowd hyped with their screamo music, moving the crowd like no other. 

Nick Ramirez, the guitarist, got nostalgic reflections on the music history Pomona holds, and how they are becoming a part of that.

Velcro Wallets lead singer and guitarist Damien Garcia plays to The Haven crowd during the band’s concert on Friday night in Pomona. The bill also included Reclusr, Grauze and Suburban Chicken Shit. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

“I saw my first show right before the pandemic hit down the street at the glass house and I saw the Wonder Years,” Ramirez said.  “From that time on I just knew I wanted to play shows. I wanted to be a part of the atmosphere, especially here in Pomona and in the I.E. where we call home.”

From the view of his drum kit, Ethan Gerardi could see the crowd’s energy and passion as he would throw the beaten drum sticks into the sea of fans. All those nerves he initially had faded once he felt the welcoming atmosphere. 

“The cool thing about Pomona shows is that the people here are in it for the music, not just to have a story to tell the next day, at the end of the day that’s all it’s about ” he said. 

Playing in Pomona meant a lot to The Reclusr especially at The Haven.

“You go to see your favorite bands in Pomona and it would be cool to play there, then next thing we know, we are playing The Haven, it’s like one of the dreams in our heart” said Freddy Soto, the band’s bassist.

Following Reclusr, Velcro Wallets took the stage. The Rancho Cucamonga band’s rock meets indie genre showed a different side of the crowd. The euphoria echoed the venue as everyone bounced along with the band. 

Damien Garcia, the lead singer and guitarist of Velcro Wallets, parted the crowd as if they were the Red Sea, with one strum of the guitar breaking the room’s silence, the crowd dismissed and moshed as if there was no tomorrow. Fans even tried to storm the stage as the musicians had to push them off. 

Grauze was the next band to hit the stage. The surf rock band performed with high energy. The crowd’s heads were banging along with the occasional spin kick. They played their popular hits like “Lock it Away” and the self titled song, “Grauzz.”

Compared to an average concert where the focus is directly on the artist, The Haven has a way of pulling your attention to the lights and decor, where you are suddenly in a trance. Watching the fellow attendees is hypnotic as they sway, mosh, slam dance and create circle pits with the occasional roundhouse spin kick. 

Velcro Wallets lead singer Damien Garcia interacts with The Haven crowd, telling them to mosh with caution at their concert on Friday night in Pomona. Velcro Wallets, from Rancho Cucamonga, plays indie-influenced rock. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Emiliano Contreras is no stranger to this venue, he visits monthly to see familiar faces.

“When you listen to the music your body feels all these things and it makes you want to move and let it out,” Contreras said, describing moshing. “I want to show people the culture of punk screamo.”

Angel Gutierrez likes to visit the venue to discover the new bands that come through.

To bring home the night, new band, Suburban Chicken Shit took the stage playing their second show ever. With an E.P. in the works they played all new music. Behind all the instruments, listening closely to the lyrics, the emotions come out as the crowd could relate to and appreciate. 

Sara Fisher stepped out of her comfort zone to come support her friends in Velcro Wallets. This is not her normal scene but the Haven opened her horizon. 

“I really liked it,” Sara said. “It’s cool to see people expressing themselves, and when I was younger I didn’t have an outlet like this.”

The next upcoming shows at The Haven are Friday, with a hardcore punk show sponsored by Inland Hardcore, and Oct 7, sponsored by Sunset Palm.

For tickets and more information, visit thehavenpomona.com

Sheridan Lambrook can be reached at sheridan.grenda@laverne.edu.

Sheridan Lambrook, a senior journalism major with a concentration in visual journalism, is photography editor and a staff writer for the Campus Times.


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