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Mosswood Meltdown 2022 - Day 2: (Oakland, CA) - July 3rd, 2022

Vaxxines perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
10 August 2022

Day two of Mosswood Meltdown a high-energy affair.
The first band of the day, The Vaxxines brought their bratty, defiant sound to the tree-lined amphitheatre for some mid-day sneering and rocking out. “Free Radicals” and “Drink Beer and Destroy” were the highlights of their set, really channeling the sound of punk forefathers like The Angelic Upstarts and The Business. Their cover of “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” by X-Ray Spex was one of the few times I’ve seen the song covered well. Whereas most bands make it into a joke because they can’t hope to capture Poly Styrene’s casual panic, The Vaxxines really went for it. It was a strong start to another fantastic day of anti-establishment rock n’ roll.
The Vaxxines (2), Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
The Vaxxines, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Vaxxines perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Vaxxines perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Vaxxines perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Sinking even further into the subversive, Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries is probably the coolest thing to ever come out of Fresno. With a sound like a slightly more mature and dynamic Bratmobile, Fatty Cakes seemed to be the cheerleaders for every underdog.
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
The underdog theme was clear at all points of the day. The entire lineup was a delightful motley crew of all the former school kids who were probably beat up, bullied, or ignored. In other words, all the kids that I would have probably been friends with.
Brontez Purnell’s sweetly personal set in which he was as much storyteller as musician. Hunx and his Punx delivered their brand of charming mix of doowop meets stick-n-poke. Fevers brought their now well-rehearsed indoor kid sound into the mix.
Brontez Purnell, Mosswood Meltldown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
The Fevers, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Of course, no one champions the underdog better than long-time punk heroes Pansy Division. There entire set was like a love letter to every queer kid who was oppressed and a hearty fuck you to all of the oppressors. “Some of My Best Friends” has always been one of my favorite songs of theirs because it challenges homophobia through a first-person perspective. Instead of sweeping generalizations about what “they” are doing, “Best Friends” makes it about interactions between individuals. On the surface, it sounds so sweet, but it’s actually one of their most aggressive songs. Their delivery of the song at Mosswood was as good as I’ve ever heard it, wooing the crowd.
Pansy Division perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Pansy Division perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Pansy Division (3), Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Pansy Division (2), Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Pansy Division, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Podium had more of a take-no-prisoners approach. Their set was a passionate fever dream in which vocalist √Āfrica Mansaray played pied piper to all of the young punks in the crowd. Spinning, drilling guitars flanked Mansaray’s vocals, and each song was was an absolute fury.
Podium perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Africa Mansaray of Podium (3), Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Africa Mansaray of Podium (2), Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Africa Mansaray of Podium, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Podium perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Speaking of young punks, The Linda Lindas provided a solid set that included a very fitting cover of “Tonite” by The Go-Go’s. The Lindas have all the same energy and bravado as The Go-Go’s, and they really captured the joyful harmony and solidarity that’s been the bedrock of their sound. That same sound was captured on songs like “Talking to Myself” and “Monica.”
The Linda Lindas (2), Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
The Linda Lindas, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney

Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
The Linda Lindas perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
The Linda Lindas perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
 The Linda Lindas perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Headliner Bikini Kill was the perfect cap to this festival of misfits. Kill committed to the festival more than two years ago, and stuck with that commitment all through the pandemic. Kathleen Hanna’s trademark screech seemed to grab the sun down from the sky, as night descended on the festival grounds. Opening with “New Radio,” Kill didn’t seem to have a pause in energy at any point of their set. Showing their playful, soft underbelly, the set included covers of new wave hit “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves and the combination Synth Pop and Reggae nightmare that is “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder. “Rebel Girl” was a literal show stopped, Hanna pouring all of her frustration, rage, and disappointment into this climactic performance that would usher in the end of the festival.
Bikini Kill perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Bikini Kill (2), Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Bikini Kill perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Bikini Kill, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Bikini Kill perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Most festivals try to have something for everyone. Mosswood Meltdown had everything for the nobodies. It was a safe place for those who don’t belong to belong.
Young fan at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver