Nikita Leo (L) and Sean Aaron (R) perform in their band Love Spiral while head banging at SF State’s Depot on Feb. 16, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)
Nikita Leo (L) and Sean Aaron (R) perform in their band Love Spiral while head banging at SF State’s Depot on Feb. 16, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress)

Tam Vu

The Depot hosts dynamic “Punk N’ Drag” event

The Depot and Big Leap Collective joined forces to spotlight bands and drag performers from around the Bay Area.

February 17, 2023

At nearly full capacity, the raucous “Punk N’ Drag” was a major success for The Depot on Thursday night.

The event featured three different bands from across the Bay Area, as well as drag performances in between sets. Big Leap Collective, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing accessible events to the Bay Area, hosted the show alongside The Depot.

SF state students and fellow punk enthusiasts mosh during Love Spiral’s performance at SF State’s Depot on Feb. 16, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)

“We also have a live events educational program where we mentor people who don’t typically get experiences in … sound engineering, photography, live shows, box office, things like that,” said Ellie Stokes, founder and creative director of Big Leap Collective.

Drag performers Garbo Hydrate, Dionysus the Sphinx, Ben the Drag Twink and Simp Lee Yearning lip synced songs from a number of bands, including The Smiths.

Punk bands WIFE, Love Spiral and The Hellas brought a surge of energy to the crowd of nearly 100 people. 

“Punk N’ Drag” went from 6:30-9 p.m., the energy still palpable through the last set. As The Hellas performed, they took a moment to call out a missing phone left on the stage. 

“I appreciate you, man,” yelled the phone’s owner as lead singer Gabriel Jimenez returned his device.

Ben The Drag Twink, also known as Skylar Symone, stuffs a prop resembling a joint in his mouth at SF State’s Depot on Feb. 16, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)

The synergy between performers and the audience remained alive and vibrant as the show settled down towards the end of the night.

“It was cool to play on a college campus because most of us probably didn’t go to college,” Jimenez joked. “The energy was off the charts.”

Bass player Gizmo Silvey joined the crowd as they moshed during the end of the last song. 

“The crowd was moving from the first song on, they came to dance and I just wanted to get in the pit and dance with them,” Silvey said.

 

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About the Contributors
Photo of Michelle Ruano Arreola
Michelle Ruano Arreola, Staff Reporter
Michelle Ruano (she/her) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. Though she is from Hayward, CA, she currently resides in San Francisco. She is a journalism major focusing on online print and a minor in Special Education. She has previously interned for YR Media in Oakland, CA. Outside school, she loves playing video games with her friends and attending live music shows.
Photo of Tam Vu
Tam Vu, Photo Editor
Tam Vu (she/her) is a Vietnamese-American photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine. She is a fourth-year photojournalism major with a minor in Asian American studies. She originally entered SF State as a print and online journalism major, but switched to photojournalism in her second year after finding her passion for visual storytelling. Her special interests include Asian American identity and music journalism. In the near future, she hopes to make a video documentary on her parents' immigration story to highlight the generational impact that the Vietnam War has on many families. Outside of school, she loves to attend live music shows, find new music, and crochet.

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