Dancing for justice: Sunrise Eugene benefit show

Sunrise Eugene, the local chapter of the nationwide environmental movement, hosted a benefit show on Feb. 14 to raise membership and funds for their cause. Local bands Broth, Novacane, Los Gandos and Gentlebeing played the show which was attended by more than 100 people.

Los Gondos, the second act, tore the roof off the small venue on W 11th Ave on a stage surrounded by “Green New Deal” and “Good Jobs/Liveable Future” banners. As a group of punks born and raised, the band’s sound is strongly influenced by classics like the Dead Kennedys and contemporaries such as FIDLAR. This show matched that style perfectly with a balance of fun and revolutionary energy. The night was intensely political, which excited Los Gondos, who had never played a benefit show before. They certainly embraced the activism of the event including inciting a  collective cry of “fuck carbon!” from the crowd.

Punk has always been environmentally conscious, from bands like Crass and Oi Polloi, and Los Gondos are no exception. The band’s drummer, Grant Anderson said, “It sounds cliche, but caring about the environment is pretty punk,” a message that surely their audience that night would agree with. This attitude made them perfect for a Sunrise Eugene benefit show. 

Sunrise Eugene’s movement is one “built by and for young people,” according to Sunrise Eugene organizer Avery Temple. Their main goal right now is getting people behind the Green New Deal. Temple emceed the night’s events and got on stage to address the crowd multiple times throughout the show. In her eyes, the show “was nothing short of a major success.” That was certainly the case, a large turnout with passionate energy supported Sunrise’s environmental justice hypewoman ─ she rocked the crowd just as much as the bands did. By the end of the night, the Sunrise Eugene sign-up sheets were full several times over. 

The show was equally about having fun and making a difference, empowering and entertaining in ways unique to Eugene’s underground music scene. Thanks to Sunrise, every attendee was reminded of the collective organization we must accomplish in order to truly tackle environmental issues. Environmental comradery and solidarity permeated the air along with sweat, pheromones and clouds of smoke that reminded us all of the bigger picture on Valentine’s Day. 

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