I didn’t start listening to anything punk-related until I got to college. The way it happened was I was friends with some metal heads, and they convinced me to go see Mastodon at this big four band show that included them, Dethklok, High on Fire, and Converge. I was excited to see all of them except Converge, who just sounded like a bunch of cacophonous shouting from their videos. Me and my friends were all convinced they’d be lame, but figured we’d stay for their set anyway (since Mastodon came on right after). They opened with the song Plagues, and by the time it dropped, I was sold on the band. A few songs later, there was a huge moshpit right in front of us, and in a move that was completely out of character for 17-year-old ligeti, I jumped right in (this was also my second concert I ever went to). Long story short, I realized that I liked loud, aggressive, fast-paced music with a shouting singer – my future love of punk and hardcore music had been formed.
After that, I’ve seen Converge every time they came to town, discovering a few great bands when they were their openers (Touche Amore being a pretty awesome standout). In additition, over the years I made my way out to a decent number of DIY shows, I’ve also seen Refused during their reunion tour, Savages when they were touring for Silence Yourself, and Titus Andronicus more times than I can count. Even if it’s not “pure” punk music, there’s just something about going out to punk-adjacent shows that gives me a sort of cathartic release other music just doesn’t provide.
Also, I’m a big fan of the big-hitters: Fugazi, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, The Replacements etc. but they were all before my time. As for current bands, while they’re definitely more “in the punk spirit” than anything else, I never miss an opportunity to recommend checking out Algiers!