Canned soup, a lobster costume fit for a puppy, and five sludgy garage punk bands were all integral parts of the team that worked together in the name of our furry friends, and more importantly, those who take care of our furry friends in time of need. Although the original idea of this super-stacked show served the purpose of being a “nightmare” The Side Eyes-curated benefit show for OC Animal Care proved to be otherwise; a night of dancing, festivity, and positive energy all for a good cause. Being OCDIY’s first sold out show at their newly opened space, the glowing holiday spirit flowed throughout the walls while maintaining a discreetly tucked away location in an industrial strip mall in suburban Lake Forest. With donations stacking up higher than the teenagers that walked in, the celebration of the local music community and the overall enthusiasm within it are something worth mentioning.

   For only three bones (no pun intended) accompanied with a donation for pups or cats, a lucky punk could catch FEEDER, The Side Eyes, Melted, Uniform and the debut of RØBBER, all in the epitome of suburbia in southern Orange County. Not a bad deal, considering that all of the bands performing on the lineup were just as psyched as the their respective fans were, adding to the holiday magic.

   While teeny boppers, old punks and everyone in between eagerly poured into the tiny showroom for newcomers like RØBBER, Uniform, and FEEDER, the undeniable energy of the crowd seemed to reach to a new level with every passing set, including favorite familiar faces like Melted and The Side Eyes. Walking into the showroom on Friday evening was similar to entering a portal into an apocalyptic-punk Christmas land; being suddenly intoxicated in guitar riffs and bass that you couldn’t escape even if you wanted to.

   “Nightmare For Christmas” was the most simple answer to any bored teenager’s angst (and apparently for the one cat in attendance that cuddled the snack table all evening), and this is my unofficial invitation to all of the bands to do it all over again next year. What do you say, guys?

  If you’re looking for more DIY shows just like this one in South Orange County, check out OCDIY’s instagram and website for more upcoming shows.