10. Diet Cig
Even this early in their career, it’s probably already a cliché to say that there’s something infectious about the energy and enthusiasm this young duo bring to their every performance. More than any other show I passed by or sat in on at the small Purgatory stage in the parking lot just outside of The Masquerade, the crowd packed in tight to watch singer/guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman deliver their Tiger Trap-tinged brand of pop punk earworms. For Luciano, any moment away from the mic is a prime opportunity to pogo from one end of the stage to the other, swinging her pale telecaster every direction the small stage will afford her. With more than half of their songs coming shy of the two-minute mark, Diet Cig kept the crowd shuffling their feet along the concrete to songs about getting passed over by a love interest from a better school or the challenges and disappointments that come with being a female in a male-dominated genre/lifestyle like punk rock. Like each of their songs, Diet Cig’s set was short-lived, but it’s been stuck in my head ever since.