The New York based pop punk duo Diet Cig released their debut album “Swear I’m Good At This” on April 7 of this year and hit the road to tour in support of this album. On May 5th, they swung by Chain Reaction and it was the first time I had been there in over 10 years despite the fact that it’s a local venue to me. While the venue isn’t really what it used to be (in terms of the bands they book) it’s still one of the only all ages spaces the younger generation of concert goers can go and enjoy live music in a safe and welcoming place for all types of people in Orange County.
As the headliners took the stage an adorably wonderful moment happened before my eyes. A group of girls got the attention of lead singer/guitarist Alex Luciano and gifted her a bouquet of flowers which led to one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen on Alex’s face. After a few moments of appreciation she asked to make sure that they were indeed for her and not her band mate Noah Bowman (drums) AKA The Tortilla Chip King. Before the band started their set, Alex made sure that everyone had a fantastic time, reminding everyone that each of their shows is a safe space for everyone to rock out in without any feeling of danger or discomfort.
Throughout their set, Alex bounced around the stage with her signature twirls and high kicks as they shredded through songs that have been on repeat in my car weeks before the show. Although I was familiar enough with their songs, I wasn’t really prepared for the sort of speed and energy they put on display from a journalistic point of view. I typically try to take notes during a show on my phone but this band just never seemed to slow down long enough for me to write anything down, proof positive as why every fan of pop punk needs to see this band live.
Diet Cig’s origins can be traced back to a house show when asked out loud if anyone had a cigarette light and was instead handed a bottle of wine by Noah. After hitting it off, Noah and Alex decided to start a band despite the fact that Alex had never picked up a guitar before as the opening lyrics of “Sleeptalk” state.
In my opinion, there is great strength to be found in the simplicity of power cords and catchy melodies. Even though “Swear I’m Good At This” is only the first full length the band has put out, it still shows that the band can mature from their earlier eps and I can’t wait to see and hear what this band has in store for us.
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