Last Wednesday, the picturesque theater on the third floor of Ida Noyes Hall at the University of Chicago hosted a four-act line-up of melodic post-hardcore-and-pop-punkers. That intimate yet grandiose hall was first to witness the comeback of the UofC’s infamous hardcore organization, TRIX.
Welcomed by the warm, rustic fresco of the Masque of Youth, depicting the celebration of the University’s 25th anniversary, I imagined what kinds of masquerade balls and elite social gatherings this space was built to hold. Given such regal environs, one would have hardly expected the impending night of punk shenanigans. Yet, no sooner had I finished perusing the painted procession than I came to realize that no other ambiance could have been more appropriate for the night that TRIX’s punk soul was to be revived.
The members of TRIX have high hopes for the organization’s success. “This is the moment of its resurrection, tonight’s show,” said Josh Oberman, one of TRIX’s leading members. “We’ve done a few basement shows prior and we’re hoping to pull off at least one more show by the end of the quarter,” he continued. “We want to facilitate the presence of underground music around campus, very much in spirit with DIY; that would be the most sustainable way for TRIX to be handed down as a student group.”
The line-up for the night’s show consisted of musicians hailing from “up North,” that sometimes-vastly unreachable universe of musical indulgence: Andy Tokarski, an acoustic amalgam of indie-folk and high-pitched vocals; Lovesick, mixing mathy structures with post-hardcore and screamo tonalities; Coping, darling-boy emo-stars kicking off their tour with a new LP release; and Canadian Rifle, a growly trio of straight-ahead pop-punkers.
The UofC campus, dominated by sober intellectualism, doesn’t seem likely to embrace hardcore, punk, or plain ol’ rock ideologies any time soon. To maintain TRIX’s viability and more importantly the presence of music and its ability to empower students, it’s crucial that the student punk community persist in their struggle to foster a Hyde Park DIY scene. They don’t need masks or masquerades–just the antics and tricks of their youth, out in the open with raw vocals, crude distortions, and battered limbs.