Denny's Is the Best Punk Venue in America

A California Denny's is currently seeking $1,000 for damages from a very lively punk show put on by a 17-year-old promoter.
punk show at Denny's
Screenshot via YouTube

As we reach the final two weeks of this increasingly cursed decade, some of us will sift through the wreckage of the past 10 years, trying to salvage a Good Thing or two, while others would just as soon throw a match onto the entire pile and hope that the 2020s will be less shit.

But although the 2010s forced us to endure President Donald Trump, Brexit-slash-BoJo, and the loss of both David Bowie and Prince, it also gave us streaming video services, a rise in political and environmental activism, and the dankest of memes. This decade also featured not one, but two memorable hardcore shows that took place inside Denny's restaurants.


Six years ago, Houston band Live Without punctuated their set with the unforgettable line "What's up, what's up, what the fuck is up, Denny's?" A clip of that now-immortal comment made its way around the internet again in 2018, and went viral for a second time. (Live Without's guitarist said that the five bands who played the show put the entire gig together in 24 hours—and yes, it was called "The Grand Slam.")

Over the weekend, "fast as fuck" Long Beach, California punk band Wacko had their own "What the fuck is up, Denny's" moment when they played a show in one of its restaurants in Santa Ana—and the night ended as you'd expect, with tables overturned onto those signature vinyl booths, light fixtures getting battered, and one pissed off manager.

"My condolences […] she had no idea what she was getting into," one person tweeted. In the attached screen recordings, the alleged Denny's worker is surrounded by the crowd, staring at the room with the kind of expression that suggests that she's thinking about every bad decision she's ever made.

A 17-year-old was the promoter who booked Denny's for the show, and that same kid was allegedly on the hook for more than a thousand dollars' worth of rental fees and damages. According to Theprp, Wacko launched a GoFundMe for the teen to help him cover the cost of the show.

"Unfortunately the restaurant pinned him on the heavy damages done to the place. Between a few table a few chairs and those chandelier hanging light thingys [sic] the damages racked up to close to thousand dollars they claim (Pshhh bulllshiiiiiit)," the band wrote. "Fck that, well give em 600 bucks and tell em to go to Wal-Mart for replacements […] Show this kid some luv cause he put southern California punk shit on the map hard asf."

The teenager, who was not named, spent $400 to rent the Denny's for the night, and also paid to rent a generator so he could host an afterparty "under a bridge by a Costco." (The GoFundMe seems to have raised enough cash to cover all of that; it's no longer accepting donations.)

Last month, when Attilla frontman and Stay Sick Recordings founder Chris Fronzak tweeted "What the fuck is up Dennys," Live Without responded with "stay back demon." Maybe it was a joke, maybe it was ironic, or maybe this decade is just done, all-around.

Yeah, we'll go with that, so… WHAT THE FUCK IS UP, 2020?