Buddy Nielsen of the New Jersey punk band Senses Fail was not altogether thrilled about the lineup at this year’s Bamboozle Left festival.
“It feels like we’re playing in a chocolate factory here, with all these bands looking like 7-Eleven candy,” Nielsen said. “What happened to this scene? It’s garbage.”
After that interlude, Senses Fail’s two guitarists promptly pointed their instruments skyward, kicked their feet up on the stage monitors and played dueling harmonized solos in the vein of Blue Oyster Cult. It just goes to show that what counts for modern punk rock today is anybody’s guess, and every stripe of it was on display at thisweekend’s installment of Bamboozle Left. The two-day festival at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine has further proved that today’s emo scene is less determined by the music than by the kind of person who listens to it, and be it grindcore, stoner rap or frothy disco, every permutation of teenage taste was up for spirited debate.