Photo by Ming Wu

Downtown Boys, C.H.U.D.s and DOXX tore it up at Zaphods playing one of the best shows of 2016.

To me, this show was everything that is right about punk. Songs highlighting almost everything that is wrong with our culture delivered with in your face intensity and dedication. Shows like this move me and rekindle my undying love for punk shows and all the people at them. Great show, great crowd and much respect.

Downtown Boys ripping it up at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa. Photo: Ming Wu
Downtown Boys ripping it up at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa. Photo: Ming Wu

Downtown Boys are an amazing punk band from Providence, Rhode Island led by the energetic, intense and captivating Victoria Ruiz. Anyone who wasn’t sure what they were in for was quickly shown what Downtown Boys is all about as they opened with “Eat The Rich,” followed by “Wave of History.” I love that they had no fear to play songs in Spanish, like the song “Santa” which they introduced by saying “Kiss the patriarchy good bye.” One of the coolest parts of the show was when Victoria gave a shoutout to DOXX and even quoted one of their songs while on stage, that’s one of the biggest compliments I have ever seen from a headliner to a local opening act. Victoria is also very up to speed on Canadian politics as she remarked “Canada never should have made and an arms deal with Saudi”and launched into the powerful song “Future Police” which doesn’t hold back any punches. The other awesome element of the band is their sax player. Yes this punk/hardcore band has a sax player that blasts along adding depth to the chaos. As I write this, I find that no matter the words I use I can not properly capture the absolute wave of energy and emotion that Downtown Boys evoked. Just see them anytime you can and as soon as possible.

C.H.U.D.s lead singer Darryl Andrew Reid spending the entire set in the crowd at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa. Photo: Ming Wu
C.H.U.D.s lead singer Imogen Reid spending the entire set in the crowd at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa. Photo: Ming Wu

Before Downtown Boys was Ottawa’s own C.H.U.D.s. I believe C.H.U.D.s stands for┬áCannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller like the early 80s horror movie, but don’t quote me on that. Local photographer, Imogen Reid leads this ┬áthree-piece. She spent the entire set in the crowd thrashing from side to side and sometimes throwing herself to the ground. Her energy and commitment to the lyrics and the message is palpable and true. She lays┬áherself out for everyone to see and hear while holding nothing back. A prime example of this was when she introduced a song saying “I’m an adult and I can do whatever I want to do with my body, I don’t have to prove how trans I am.”

New band DOXX killing it at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa. Photo: Ming Wu
New band DOXX killing it at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa. Photo: Ming Wu

Opening the show was a Ottawa’s newest hardcore band DOXX. With only one song over 2 minutes, the band blasted through their set. DOXX are a band making noise that just doesn’t really happen in Ottawa, I’m delighted they exist. They are straight forward, honest, fast, loud and made up of just some of the nicest people in the Ottawa music scene. Lead singer Sof is fierce on stage. There is no way you can’t feel amped by her energy during the song “Stuck in Hetero” as she flies around on stage.