Home Sick Festival packs Petaluma's Phoenix Theater with top Bay Area bands

Home Sick Festival

When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13

Where: The Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington St., Petaluma

Cost: $38-$40

Winter festivals are rarely worth leaving your house for because really, who wants to spend a winter day outside freezing and battling frostbite?

Luckily, the upcoming Home Sick Festival is indoors, at Petaluma’s Phoenix Theater, and features a large number of talented Bay Area and touring artists. The lineup includes Ceremony, Power Trip, Touché Amoré, Black Marble, King Woman, Culture Abuse, FURY, HIDE, Screature, ACRYLICS and Super Unison. Part of the proceeds go to those affected by the North Bay Fires.

If you’re still on the fence - here’s a deeper dive on some of the artists:


Hailing from Rohnert Park - aka Sonoma County’s beloved sleepy college town - Ceremony is arguably one of the most notable bands to come out of the North Bay. Forming in 2005, the band’s spent years touring the world with notable bands like AFI and playing festivals as epic as South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Perhaps one of the best parts about Ceremony is the band’s willingness to continually reinvent themselves and create a new sound beyond punk and hardcore. Over the course of the band’s career, the members have released five distinct studio albums, with 2015’s “The L-Shaped Man,” taking the band in a completely new direction, with clean vocals and single note guitar riffs over power chords.

Listening to the band’s albums “Violence Violence” and “Rohnert Park,” alongside “The L-Shaped Man,” shows just how much the band has grown throughout the years. Even though each album is special in its own right and served a purpose, the band doesn’t get stuck in repetitive ruts.

Track you should listen to: “Bleeder,” shows the band’s new sound but also features early gritty vibes too. It’s a good track to introduce you to the band’s new sound if you haven’t listened to them in a bit

Recommended if you like: Give Up The Ghost, The Menzingers, Pixies (newer stuff) .

Culture Abuse

Remember when the lineup for the Home Sick Festival was first released and the event poster had three giant question marks holding a spot for an unnamed band?

Good news: We finally know the mystery band is Culture Abuse.

If you’ve never heard of Culture Abuse, but you’re into old-school punk like The Ramones and Sex Pistols, you might want to check the band out. The group’s sound is infused with garage, punk and just a smidgen of power pop that leaves songs stuck in your head for days.

Culture Abuse recently signed to Epitaph Records and just finished a nationwide tour alongside WAVVES and Joyce Manor, but you might remember seeing the members of this San Fransisco band playing or roaming around at local shows in the North Bay.

The band’s first full-length release, “Peach,” is a 10-song, high-energy album. To get the full immersion, listen to this record from the opening track, “Chinatown” ––about injustice, police brutality and living life to the fullest –– to the last track, “Heavy Love,” a mellow tune with hazy guitar riffs.

Recommended if you like: Creative Adult, WAVVES, SWMRS.

Track you should listen to: “So Busted,” the perfect soundtrack to any love story. The song reminds listeners material objects like fancy cars don’t compare to finding the kind of love that makes you want to grow old with someone.

King Woman

The first time I caught King Woman was at a packed house show and from the moment I heard vocalist Kristina Esfandiari sing, I was blown away. This woman has pipes. In fact, you could compare the King Woman’s doomy vibes to classic metal acts like Black Sabbath, which the group seems to channel with Esfandiari’s clean vocals and metal riffs.

The project started in 2009 as Esfandiari’s solo endeavor away from Whirr (a “shoegaze”-style alternative rock band ) Over time, King Woman rounded into a full band also consisting of Colin Gallagher, Joey Raygoza and Peter Arensdorf. While Esfandiari’s voice is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of the band’s sound, the music itself is full of heavy notes and gritty, striking tones that shake you to your core.

From the start, the band’s explored haunting subjects with songs like “Wrong,” which Esfandiari wrote about growing up in a “spiritually oppressive environment,” a theme the band explores significantly in King Woman’s first EP, “Doubt.”

Newer songs like “Shame,” off the 2017 album “Created In The Image Of Suffering,” also explore creation, equality and oppression. Recommended if you like: Miserable, Deafheaven, Whirr.

Track you should listen to: “Shame,” is a song about a constricting relationship which leaves the subject feeling trapped, and a former lover who can’t face what they’ve done. “ Only love I ever knew, you can’t even look at me, Oh I know your shame is true.”


Ok, sometimes it’s hard to appreciate how special something is when you see it every day, and perhaps this theory applies to local band Acrylics. The Santa Rosa band has played countless house shows in the area, and just finished a month-long European tour and Vice’s music channel hailed the group as “Wine Country’s Best ‘Cheap Beer’ band” earlier this year.

So what makes this band worth listening to?

The band is truly one of a kind. The members do what they want, when they want, and the songs never seem to follow a formula. If anything, the best way to describe the music is “unhinged” because you can never really tell what direction each song is going to go.

Track you should listen to: “NADA NADA,” a high octane track that takes you on a trip down a punk-rock rabbit hole.

Recommended if you like: OVVN, Lumpy And The Dumpers, Cold Sweat.

Touché Amoré

Touché Amoré makes an amazing first impression during live sets. , I say this because the first time I caught the band was at the 2016 Riot Fest Chicago with a lineup that included the original Misfits, Morrissey and The Flaming Lips. And still, this band’s set stood out as a festival highlight.

Touché Amoré delivers a set full of energetic, meaningful songs and, despite coming together in Los Angeles, reflects a simplicity and beauty that remind me of post-hardcore New Jersey band Thursday (whom they’ve actually toured with in the past.)

The band’s most recent release and their fourth studio album, “Stage Four,” speaks of childhood memories and the loss of singer Jeremy Bolm’s mother to lung cancer. Though previous albums spoke of battle with anxiety, depression and toxic relationships, “Stage Four” is the type of record we’ll remember for years to come.

Standout track you should listen to: “Eight Seconds,” with Touché Amoré singer Jeremy Bolm, who wrote about the moment he learned his mother had passed. The song is heartfelt, and shows just how fearless and honest the band can be.

Recommended if you like: Thursday, Basement, La Dispute.

Home Sick Festival

When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13

Where: The Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington St., Petaluma

Cost: $38-$40

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