Skating Polly to bring power and ugly pop to Fort Collins

Matt Campbell

Hailing from Oklahoma City, the punk-rock trio Skating Polly will be gracing the stage at Fort Collins’ punk venue Surfside 7 on Sept. 20. With the band comes a turbulent performance full of angst, passion and originality. On their second stop of the year in the Centennial State, Skating Polly is back and bringing a fury that will surely echo through Fort Collins.  

It’s about making music … that’s not going to be strained or filtered.”-Kelli Mayo, vocals, guitar and bass for Skating Polly

Formed in 2009 by Kelli Mayo (vocals, guitar, bass) and Peyton Bighorse (vocals, guitar, bass, drums), the band has been steadily creating music since the duo were 9 and 14, respectively, which then led to the addition of Kelli Mayo’s brother, Kurtis Mayo (drums, guitar).


Most recently, in 2018, Skating Polly released their fifth studio album, “The Make It All Show.” The album demonstrated a level of depth and maturity that comes from experience and a true understanding of being a band.

Bringing together some of the greatest aspects of pop, punk and alternative music, Skating Polly’s sound can be summed up into a fitting definition that the band wears proudly on their sleeves: ugly pop.

Skating Polly multi instrumentalist Kelli Mayo performs Sept. 1, 2018. (David Lee via Flickr)

“It’s about making music where the focus is the song,” Kelli Mayo said. “Music that’s not going to be strained or filtered.” 

Skating Polly accomplishes this aesthetic effortlessly with a level of professionalism that is uncommon among most well-established bands.

Tickets for the show can be found on Surfside 7 or Skating Polly’s websites. 

While showing a refusal to be pigeonholed, the band also draws from elements of punk rock, most specifically from “riot grrrl,” a sub-genre of punk rock music and feminist movements that was established to empower women in music and to abolish the misogyny and sexism that plagued punk for decades before its inception.

Skating Polly represents this ideology with an authority that hearkens back to the unashamed and truly inspiring music of seminal riot grrrl bands such as Babes in Toyland, Huggy Bear and Bikini Kill (with whom they shared a line up at this year’s Riot Fest in Chicago, Illinois).

Kelli Mayo said it’s an honor playing at important local venues across the country and now at one of Fort Collins’ most established punk and alternative venues. Skating Polly has been able to share stages with respected artists such as X, Wavves and Mike Watt (Minutemen) and continues to bring the same charm and visceral energy to every performance.

Matt Campbell can be reached at or on Twitter @mcampnh.