Bad Copy

Show Review

Black Christmas 2017: Suicide Machines, Iron Reagan, Bad Cop / Bad Cop & More in Detroit, MI

It's beginning to look a lot like Black Christmas

Photo: Zack Jacob
Fest 16

I’ve been writing about Detroit’s annual Black Christmas in some capacity for the last five years. Because of that, I’ve been privileged to watch the festival grow and shift from a unique perspective. Being a “music journalist” sometimes puts you in this grey space where you see a little more than an average show goer – you end up peaking behind the curtain just a bit.

Black Christmas has been around for the last seven years and during that time has grown to being the biggest punk and hardcore show in the area, and all while staying very DIY. The whole thing is put together by a small group of people – Ramona Caldwell with Black Iris Booking, Rich and Jay from the Suicide Machines, and the Majestic Complex. For uninitiated, it’s always headlined by the Suicide Machines who debut all sorts of antics every year. Sometimes it’s new music, sometimes it’s jello shot cannons and an on-stage bar, and sometimes it’s drop kicked presents full of merch into the crowd. 

It’s been super wonderful to watch the festival grow and see tiny details worked out, rearranged, and made better. For example, this year the Majestic Theatre main stage had a photo pit. That probably doesn’t seem like a crazy addition, but for years photographers have had to shoot the Suicide Machines from the crowd, a dangerous task when upwards of 1,000 people are packed in behind you.

The stand-out act for the night for me wasn’t actually a band, but the lineup itself. This year’s show had more women, LGBTQ+, and persons of color on stage than ever before. I know this is a result of hard work behind the scenes to make sure the night stays representative of what we want our future in punk and hardcore music to look like. I’ve been at this point in my life where I’m craving, truly aching for more diversity on our stages. Seeing an influx of femmes on stage has truly given me life, and seeing that moved to a huge platform like Black Christmas is probably what’s kept me from dropping out of this sausage fest of a scene.

What’s special about Black Christmas – what keeps us all coming back year after year – is the hard work Black Iris Booking, the Suicide Machines, and the Majestic Complex put into curating the event from lineup to photo barricades. That hard work and attention to what our community wants is what makes Black Christmas feel like the only family holiday party worth attending. If you’ve met me IRL I’ve probably talk-yelled at you about how thriving Detroit’s little scene feels to me and Black Christmas is the heart of that.

I guess you’re probably interested in bands that played, so go check out WOMB. They blew my head off in the first 15 minutes of the night.

Photographers Gene Butcher and Zack Jacob joined me for the night. Check out their wonderful shots from the evening below.

**Photos below from Gene Butcher

**Photos below from Zack Jacob

  1. Record Review
    Record Review

    Direct Hit! – Domesplitter (Re-issue)

    What is old is new again as Kevin revisits Direct Hit's re-issue of 'Domesplitter'.

  2. Newsvideo
    Newsvideo

    Direct Hit! Debuts Video for “Snickers or Reeses”

    Guess Who's Back. Back Again...

  3. Descendents
    Show Review
    Show Review

    Descendents, Suicide Machines, & Radkey in Detroit, MI

    The pop punks set off on their 2017 tour in Detroit last Friday, packing the Fillmore.

  4. Show Review
    Show Review

    Face To Face & Bad Cop / Bad Cop in Ventura, CA

    Face to Face, Cop two Cop

  5. Bad Cop / Bad Cop
    Record Review
    Record Review

    Bad Cop / Bad Cop – Warriors

    How can we not love a band that is a mere 'Y' away from our site's name?

  6. Premiere
    Bad Cop Bad Cop
    Newsvideo
    Newsvideo

    Bad Cop / Bad Cop Premieres Video for “Womanarchist”

    It's your right to choose... to watch this video.

  7. Show Review
    Show Review

    Vans Warped Tour in Tinley Park, IL

    Hot! Sweaty! Old! Tired! Two 30 somethings take on Warped Tour

  8. Big D & the Kids Table
    Newsvideo
    Newsvideo

    Big D & the Kids Table Releases New ‘Little Bitch’ Video

    Let's all take a moment to appreciate whatever is going on with Chris No. 2 here

Show Menu Close Menu Diamond Dots Tag Background Left Tag Right Tag icon-Interview Show Review Stream Tour Record Review Book Review Video Contest Select Area