The Walpole Veterans of Foreign Wars, next to Johnson Middle School on Robbins Road, would seem like a typical place for the men who have fought overseas to gather. Every few weeks, though, it is Walpole’s teen community who congregate there instead. The venue is opened every month or so on weekend nights for local adolescents to play and enjoy music, costing only $5 per person for three and a half hours of entertainment. The organization that has set up these events is P.A.P.’s Booking and Promotion, run by seniors Anthony Earabino, Patrick Maloney, and Pete Dugdale. Preceding shows had the ska band Survey Says as the main attraction, coming up from their native New Jersey and asking only for gas money in return. They received positive reception for their original songs and a cover of “Friday” by Rebecca Black. A few students could be seen walking the halls the following Monday wearing their signed “Survey Says” t-shirts. The most recent show was Saturday, February 4, with five bands having played from 7-10:30 p.m.
There was a crowd of around 80 that mustered inside upon hearing the host introducing the opening band Arbitration, which includes seniors Zach Ganshirt and Pete Dugdale. For the rest of the night, the VFW was dark, sultry, and loud with distorted guitars, pounding drums, and unintelligible vocals. Arbitration, the metal band Gaia, and the hardcore bands Traveler and In Depths & Tides performed well, albeit some were better than others, like Gaia compared to Traveler. They did not need to play well, though, because all that the bands were trying to do was to have their anger resonate with the crowd. It can be seen that the crowd is riled up when they start moshing, dancing with flailing limbs as if meant to hit someone. Between sets, the swarm of people would go outside to escape the humidity and cool off as the next band gets ready and warms up. It was not until 10 or so until the head lining band, Lydia Ayer, was set up and ready to go.
Lydia Ayer had been sitting at their post all night selling shirts and EPs and practicing to play top-quality work, and perfection they made. By the time Lydia Ayer got on stage, most of the array of people had retired for the night, but it was at this time that the energy was at its highest. Since there was a lack of people, there was a more of an area for moshing. That and the fact that Lydia Ayer put on a great show with strong, although unclear, vocals; high-energy music; and a kind attitude toward the crowd—seen when they would not play unless one person, who was trying to pick fights with others, left. When asked about Lydia Ayer’s performance on Saturday, junior Andrew Single said,”They were by far the most together band at that show, but they also really held up to most of the other ‘professional’ shows that I’ve seen recently. Definitely when people hear ‘local music’, they think it’s some two-bit high school band, but this was something that the music scene should really pride themselves in.”