I try not to mislead people into thinking I’ve been some huge part of the punk scene, especially being one of the “Right Hand Riot Grrrls” for Punk Rock Flea Market Lorain.


When I was young, the only thing I knew about “punk” was that some of them had Mohawks/different hair styles and wore black/studded/ripped clothes. The reason being, my older sister, who was nine years older than me started cutting her hair and wearing black concert t-shirts, which seriously bothered my parents.

However, when I met my husband at 26, he didn’t have a Mohawk or wear studded clothes (he did wear more black than Batman), but made it no mystery that he frequently went to punk concerts and clubs.

Shortly after we started dating, he took me to my very first “hardcore concert”; my quest to understand this “culture” started. I was reminded of that the night actually.

My first punk concert. I'm on the left with my husband smiling at the camera.
My first punk concert. I’m on the left with my husband smiling at the camera.

Every time I go to one of his punk concerts, the walls are always black, and there are always so many people there that you feel like you are squeezing into a clown car. I can never avoid noticing the smells at first, and each of them is so distinct that you can’t get it out of your mind – beer, sweat, smoke, and meat (bar food). You can understand all the reasons for that with very little difficulty, but the rest starts to defy all logic you once had of social groups and culture, or the feelings of expression.

This past Friday night, I again walked into a black walled crowded concert venue with the same familiar smells and atmosphere. Again the place was packed, yet it was like every member of societies culture classes had converged into one place.

On one side of me was a couple wearing Cavs jerseys, and on the other side were three girls who looked like they had just come from a dance club. There were a handful of black concert t-shirts, blue jeans, and steel-toed boots (including my husband), and one girl wearing a vintage red dress selling merchandise. I even noticed one of the members of a band that had performed come outside to text, wearing a kilt.

It took maybe an hour for the featured band to go on stage, but like passengers boarding a train, they all converged toward the stage. The moment you hear that loud sound of guitars over the mic the place lights up. Everyone is moving, some are crowd surfing, ramming into each other, and others just moving their heads to the beat. It’s all one large abrupt release of this energy in people, and it seems to never stop. I am always so amazed, and I realize that I am just standing still watching everyone. Where my curiosity about the whole event is always the foremost thing in my mind, I also think it’s the most amazing and beautiful moment to see.

No one cares who each other are, there is no awkwardness amongst each other, and they all seem to share the love for the music and the scene.

Everyone gives you the impression that they’ve bottled up all their frustrations from the entire week, just to release them for the few hours that the music plays, and all that you seem to notice otherwise are the music and the smells.

Jennifer Shields is a 32 year-old writer and mother of 3 misfit girls. She has been writing for 15 years from everything such as plays, fiction, essays, to media. In addition, she has written for several large and small special events campaigns. Jennifer’s ambition in life is to give a voice to the voiceless while encouraging creativity and self-expression.

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