Crashing the Ballroom

dhc02This article originally appeared in Broadside, the George Mason University student newspaper.

With a strum here and a strum there, punk/ska band, the Dance Hall Crashers, zipped through D.C. on Tuesday with a short, 45 minute show at the Capitol Ballroom. The band, currently on tour with punk old-timers, Bad Religion, is the opening act.

Dance Hall Crashers, a band bordering the genres of punk, pop, and ska, originated out of Berkeley, California. The band was originally started up by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong shortly after his former band, Operation Ivy, had disbanded.

“It was more of just a side thing,” guitarist Jason Hammon explains. “It was something intended to be more ska than Op Ivy, but at the same time it was just something fun to do. At the time, we were all in different bands. We didn’t intend to start up a real band.”

Although no longer involved much with DHC, Armstrong still contributes a bit. He wrote the song “Pictures,” which appears on Dance Hall Crasher’s 1995 release, LOCKJAW.

In the late 80’s, Elyse Rogers, a Berkeley student, joined the band as the female singer. The band’s lineup changed left and right until the addition of the second female singer, Karina Denike, in 1990.

The band’s harmonic female voices, clean strumming, and quick tempo give them a poppy sound that is attractive to all ages.

“Our average audience is 15 to 25,” remarks co-singer, Karina.

“I’ve always liked young audiences,” bassist Mikey Weiss adds. “If you play at a 21 or older place, all it is is a bunch of people holding their drinks. But when you get kids in there, and they’re having a good time, it makes you have a good time.”

The Crashers played an energetic, lively show even though the older, punk rock attendants gave them no support. Bad Religion fans failed to mix well with the sounds of the Dance Hall Crashers. Nevertheless, the band played their hearts out for those who were listening and dancing to their music.