Downtown live series Punk on the Patio goes out in blaze of glory with Flashlights reunion

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Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Punk on the Patio finale
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Punk on the Patio finale, Jan. 7

While last week was all in with the new (new year with a new venue actually named the New Standard), this week kicks off with a farewell to a beloved live series. Almost to the very day of its debut in 2016, Punk on the Patio just did its swan song. While the courtyard concert concept of Montgomery Drive’s Marshal Rones hasn’t been as regular an occurrence for quite some time, it’s always been a great and valiant event in an epoch of declining live music in downtown.
No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale
No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale
I was at POTP’s debut and saw its potential immediately. It’s only fitting then that I be there for the end of the era. Thankfully, so were headlining Orlando favorites Flashlights, who both launched the series in 2016 and now closed its illustrious run. Also on the bill were Chalet Girl, a local trio I discovered at another Montgomery Drive showcase back in October at Will’s Pub.
No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale
Orlando band Like Father delivered a surprising set. There’s no shortage of acts reviving emo right now. But like some well-tailored 1990s indie dream, Like Father’s sound takes true emo heart and cranks it with great fuzz and impressive rock brawn (and a dang trombone!), adding some unexpected kick and dimension to what can sometimes be a mawkish genre.
Like Father at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Like Father at Punk on the Patio finale
And then there was local pop-punk band No Handouts. They are, in their own words, a “Female-Fronted, Multi-Racial, Multi-Gender, LGBTQIA+, Local Activist Alt Band.” All noble things indeed.
No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale
No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale
For all these Benetton ideals, though, No Handouts’ aesthetic is much more Hot Topic. We all start out with freshman inclinations, and they’re a young band so perhaps they’ll one day outgrow theirs. But all the heart and good intentions in the world can’t redeem mall punk.
No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale
Once Flashlights finally got on, however, everything was as it should be to send off Punk on the Patio properly. Although perhaps one of Orlando’s most underappreciated bands (though not by me, as evidenced by this, this, this and this) despite tangible accomplishment like getting signed to Hard Rock Records and recording an album with Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison and Andy Monaghan, Flashlights are without question one of the decade’s best. Unfortunately, they haven’t been active in perhaps a couple years.
Flashlights at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Flashlights at Punk on the Patio finale
Flashlights at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Flashlights at Punk on the Patio finale
But in a real act of scene love, they reunited just for the occasion. And in case anyone forgot Flashlights’ magnificence, there it was live like a fireworks stand in flames. A bursting display of total triumph, it was a performance that reaffirmed that these unsung heroes are still owed their due in Orlando music history. Apart from this show, there are no foreseeable plans for them to reconvene, so it’s anyone’s guess as to when or if Flashlights will ever shine together again.
Flashlights at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Flashlights at Punk on the Patio finale
Flashlights at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Flashlights at Punk on the Patio finale
If something good’s gonna die, the least justice you can ask for is for it to go out with a bang. And this well-attended one did with lots of good, earned community support and the eternal blaze of glory of a Flashlights performance. POTP was one of Montgomery Drive’s best, most signature events, so a big pour on the floor please. And thanks for the good times.
No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • No Handouts at Punk on the Patio finale

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Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com