The phrase ‘pop-punk’ might leave a negative connotation in people’s heads, reminding them of Vans Warped Tour bands whose time has come and gone. But Diet Cig marries fast-and-furious pop-punk power chords with simple and relatable lyricism brimming with confidence and subject matter that Blink-182 wouldn’t want to touch, like wanting to eat ice cream on your birthday. The duo of singer/guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman have sold out shows all over the country, including their stop at Rock and Roll Hotel. With this tour, though, the effervescent duo became a quartet by adding Spook School bassist AC Cory and keyboardist Karli Helm. But still, it was Luciano and Bowman that stole the show as they have time and again.
Alex Luciano has a lot to say, and a LOT of energy with which to say it. Give her a little space, and she will bounce, spin, lay on the ground, and high-kick anything in her immediate vicinity. She would even go into the crowd to play guitar while leaning back on a fan. There is no doubt that Luciano is one of the most youthfully exuberant guitar players touring today. And she is a force for positive change, reminding the crowd that concerts are a safe space for everyone and that nobody should ever compromise their own beliefs to please someone else. Luciano roared through the entire set with a massive smile on her face, and the crowd reciprocated by singing along wholeheartedly, at times even drowning out Luciano's own voice on awkward coming-of-age foot-stomper “Sixteen.” As the set ended, she brought out openers The Spook School and Great Grandpa for a cover of Semisonic's "Closing Time" as the entire crowd belted out one last song together for the night. 90s one-hit-wonder covers notwithstanding, it's hard not to leave with a smile on your face when you're watching the infectiously peppy Diet Cig perform.
Their debut album I Swear I'm Good at This is out now though Frenchkiss Records.
Opening for Diet Cig was Scotland queer-punk group The Spook School and Seattle-based Great Grandpa.