Hockey Dad surfed into DC9 from Australia on Monday and thrashed their way through a sunny set of punk, rolling in with a surprisingly robust crowd.
I say “surprisingly” not because Hockey Dad didn’t deserve the audience but here we are in the waning days of summer and DC City is a bit empty. But clearly, Hockey Dad drew enough admirers, including a number of fellow Ozzies, who were ready to ride a wave of summertime music.
Zach Stephenson on vocals and guitar often hewed closely to his mike, occasionally stepping back to thrash away next to his best friend — drummer Billy Fleming. Billy never stopped moving as he whipped away at his drums in a whirling blonde streak of hair and drumsticks. I got quite a chuckle out of the pictures below, where you can sneak a peek at Billy’s smile through his hair.
Together, Zach and Billy were having a great time, and that most certainly translated into the audience having a great time. They performed together effortlessly, a sure sign of their lifelong kinship after growing up together in Windang, Australia.
Hockey Dad released their debut full-length album, Boronia, on August 12 via Kanine Records, which inspired their first US tour. Early in their set, the guys play the new album’s “Laura,” a rolling drum-driven banger about being hung up on a woman. “I can’t help it, she’s too perfect!” exclaims Zach, but you’re dancing too much by the time he says that to care.
“Jump the Gun” follows, and sparkling guitar waves us onto the beach as bright melodies lick our feet. The lyrics also hint of sadness in the sunshine with the refrain of “I don’t want to go home,” but you’re again too busy dancing around the beach blanket to wear a frown.
And toward the end of the show, Hockey Dad continues to be lovelorn with “I Need a Woman,” appropriately about needing a woman. But you still feel okay about that because you’re busy doing a twist and catching some rays.
All in all, Hockey Dad deliver thoroughly enjoyable surf punk (how great a bill they would make with ParklifeDC faves High Waisted?), and you should totally see them before the sun sets on your summer days.
Hockey Dad have one more US date on this tour — tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 1 at Rough Trade in Brooklyn. That’s a perfect place to see them, and I imagine they will draw quite a crowd if they haven’t sold it out already! After that, they return home for some dates in Australia and New Zealand, but perhaps we will see them again soon!
Here are some more pictures of Hockey Dad performing at DC9 on Monday, August 29, 2016.