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The Story Behind Bands in the Bus

It all started at a Radkey show at A&R Music Bar. After more than a year without live music, I was finally able to see one of my favorite bands again. I just married the love of my life six weeks earlier. We had the most phenomenal punk-themed wedding, followed by nearly two breathtaking weeks in Costa Rica. However, I was more depressed than I had been in years. The pandemic had been normalized, the excitement of the wedding was fading, and my writing career had grown stagnant. Life seemed meaningless…and then the band started to play.

At that moment, I felt a spark of inspiration. As Dee’s intoxicating melodies backed by Isiah’s and Sol’s rich, savory rhythms filled the air, I thought to myself, “If money wasn’t a factor, what would I write about?”

The answer was right there in front of my face. I would write about the magic I experience at live shows. I would write about the music, the artists, the fans, the venues—everything that makes live music so electric. And then I asked myself the follow-up question, “Then what’s stopping you from doing that?”

“Money.” It seems like such an obvious answer. However, it felt pretty shallow and hypocritical as I watched a trio of musicians who lived most of their lives touring in a van since early adolescence. It’s a labor of love, it was never about the money, and just this year, their hard work came to fruition as they opened up for the Foo Fighters. 

The following day I made a TikTok where I reviewed the show in under a minute, and Bands in the Bus was born. Decades before social media, live show reviews from music critics helped solidify celebrity status for a number of rock icons, including The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and the Sex Pistols, especially in the United States. These artists achieved stardom, in part, because someone was inspired enough to write about them. 

Live music, particularly punk music, has never been more important. We need inspiration now more than ever, so I will write about the musicians that inspire me, and I hope I can inspire some of you as well. 



Talk about ‘Delicious Rock Noise’! Radkey continues to grow. I am obsessed with each of their full-length albums. Their tasty jams cover a variety of topics, from how redlining is used to uphold the horrors of institutional racism to their deep abiding love of comic book superheroes. They draw an incredibly chill, laidback crowd and put on a hell of a show. Radkey has earned the honor of being our first official Bands in the Bus #mustgoshow because if their tour brings them to the 614, they cannot be missed.

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