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Poster from @homesickfestival on Instagram

By Julia Tesfay

Back in action, the Homesick Festival, an embodiment of the punk and indie music hosts a show on February 2nd and 3rd at the Regency Ballroom. The festival was started in 2018 by Anthony Anzaldo from punk band Ceremony. As a new event they have hosted shows in the past in Petaluma, Berkeley and Pomona.

Their first day lineup included julie, SPELLLING, Harms Way, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Narrow Head, Poison Ruïn, Upchuck and crushed. Second Day consisted of Superchunk, Fucked Up, Light Asylum, Zulu, MSPAINT, World Peace, Kumo 99, Dazy.

Thanks to DoTheBay, I won free tickets to both days by signing up to their giveaway on their site. Despite my somewhat limited knowledge about the event, there were a couple of artists on the lineup that I recognized and thought would be cool to see in person. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I could only make it to the first day. Nevertheless, I was thrilled to catch performances from julie, crushed, and Upchuck, whom I’ve been listening to recently.

I brought along a friend who wasn’t too familiar with this music genre but was intrigued to experience the punk rock genre in person. We hopped on a train to the venue, but unfortunately missed the opening act by crushed, which was a bummer since I was really looking forward to it. However, as we entered, Poison Ruïn was already on stage, and the sight of a large group of people opening up the pit got us immediately hyped. The energy was palpable and infectious, igniting our excitement for the rest of the event. Looking around the venue, I noticed a diverse crowd of different ages and styles, all decked out in post-grunge and punk attire. Engaging with fellow attendees, we found everyone to be incredibly friendly and intriguing.

Upchuck, a hardrock punk group then took the stage, delivering a performance charged with intense energy that really got us moving around. I was looking forward to seeing them as their album “Sense Yourself” has become one of my favorite punk albums and they carrey a really cool energy that was even more amazing to see in person.

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Photo Taken by Julia Tesfay

The following bands were hardcore punk band Harms Way, rock ensemble Narrow Head, and alternative rapper Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, each bringing in diverse styles of music that I hadn’t experienced live before. Although I hadn’t heard of these artists previously, it was a blast to dance and rock out to their performances. I immediately added some of their songs that I enjoyed to my playlists and looked more into them after the show.

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Photo Taken by Julia Tesfay

As the event drew to a close, artist SPELLLING, spelled with an extra L, took the stage, and my friend and I were instantly captivated by her performance. With her unique style and soulful voice, she exuded a whimsical charm that brought a much-needed relaxed vibe after the high energy of the previous bands. Her performance was a soothing respite, allowing us to unwind and appreciate the depth of her musical artistry.

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Photo Taken by Julia Tesfay

For the grand finale, the highly anticipated band julie took the stage. With their distinctive grunge shoegaze sound, they were the perfect culmination of the festival. Having been a fan for the past year, I was eagerly awaiting their performance. Though it took them a moment to warm up, once they started, the crowd collectively leaned forward, eagerly cheering them on. Seeing them live was an exhilarating experience, as they brought to life songs that I knew by heart.

The Homesick Festival curated an impressive lineup, featuring a diverse array of artists catering to those with a taste for the unconventional or those who enjoy the sub categories of rock and punk. It was an opportunity to discover new talent and connect with like-minded individuals. I highly recommend keeping an eye out for their future shows, as they undoubtedly have the potential to grow even bigger and continue showcasing exceptional talent.