Defiance, Ohio triumphs at the Trumbullplex

Arts / Article

A Bay Area native, I spent the bulk of my free time as a disaffected high schooler either haunting coffee shops or catching triple-billed punk bands at Gilman St. in Berkeley, Calif., a tiny, volunteer-run club and launch pad for bands like Green Day and Rancid. No wonder, then, that approaching the Trumbullplex — a collectively owned and operated art and music venue occupying two sprawling Victorian houses in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood — felt like nothing so much as a homecoming for me.

Amazing as it was all on its own to see that there is still a place for the disaffected youth (of all ages) to coalesce, poignant as it was for me to see the tough, moody girls and their slender, spikey-haired boyfriends holding court on the sidewalk and in clandestine clusters around parked cars, all of that paled in comparison to the evening’s event: Tare (playing an upcoming show at Corktown Tavern this Saturday) making a last-minute substitute for local favorite Jöjjön as opener for a dynamic and playful headline performance by Defiance, Ohio.

Defiance, Ohio wasted no time in revving into top gear.

Based out of (nope, you didn’t guess it) Bloomington, Ind., with four releases on No Idea Records, Defiance, Ohio blends punk roots with poppy enthusiasm and acoustic touches administered by violinist Elizabeth “BZ” Gibbs and cellist Sherri Miller (who was not present at last night’s show). The band also includes Will Staler (guitar, harmonica), Geoff Hing (guitar), Ryan Woods (bass) and Theo Hilton (drums); they split vocalist duties more or less evenly among the performers. The act drew a packed crowd into the Trumbullplex, and the pervasive energy within the space was one of positivity and celebration. The front rows churned and pogoed, fan girls with cameras grappled for the best shooting angles, and the corners shifted with teenage intrigues.

Defiance, Ohio is a Detroit favorite, with loyal fandom singing along to every word from the front row.

As we say in my home state, mad props to Tare and Defiance, Ohio for an invigorating show and to the Trumbullplex for maintaining not only a true anarchist ideal and performance space, but a ‘zine library and reading room that is open for browsing during all their events. If you can’t make it to a show, the library is also open every Tuesday evening from 6-8 p.m., and contains an unparalleled collection of self-published literature.

The ‘zine library is not solely local literature, with thousands of ‘zines on topics of all kinds.