IT'S NOT DEAD FEST (10/10/15 @ San Manuel Amphitheater, San Bernardino CA)
I saw a lot of bitching from the "Tru Punx" on all the social media about why this whole It's Not Dead Fest thing is bullshit. It's too corporate man, there are too many sponsors, the beer is too expensive, the service fee's for the tickets are insane, it's ran by that shit stain Kevin Lyman. It's not that I disagree with all of that, it's just I don't fucking give a fuck. I got to see The Bouncing Souls AND The Descendents in one day. On one stage. Plus a TON of other rad bands for only $40. Yes, I got sunburned by the shitty San Bernardino sun, and yes I spent $15 on water (I didn't know about the FREE refill station until later) and yes I sweated off about 10 pounds of water weight only to consume 15 pounds of dirt. Eat a dick you boring too cool punks.
Like most Saturdays I woke up hung over from the night before. This time was different though, because it was time to head north to the unwashed butt-hole of California, San Bernardino, to go watch pretty much every punk band from the 90's play. We assembled our crew (Kaylin, Jess, Jen, Cherisse and Myself) and began our journey north to the wasteland. We all agreed pregaming in the parking lot was key, so we hit a Bevmo for some adult beverages and ice. Jen just so happened to be a bartender back in New York, so we went with Rum and Orange Soda to make "Creamsicles" which was a good call. After parking and drinking the entire bottle of Rum between all of us, Cherisse peed on a couple of us and we started the journey to get inside.
First of all, it was like a mile and a half hike to get to the front gate. In the fucking gross hot sun. Not even exaggerating when I say a couple of us had to take a break in the shade of some nearby trees to avoid possible heat stroke. Maybe the Rum was a bad choice? Haha. Nah. Eventually we made it to the front gate where I was horrified to learn I left my fucking ticket in the car. Thankfully, we live in the future and I was able to bring it up on my severely cracked phone, and avoided another trek through hell.
We missed a handful of bands to avoid the $16 craft beer prices, but walked in just in time to catch CJ Ramone, who Cherisse was pumped to see. I knew nothing about him besides he signed to Fat last year, so I stuck around and watched a few songs and was impressed. But it was time to run to the main stage to see some Strung Out. This is where I noticed the sound wasn't that great, and unless you got decently close to the stage, everything sounded muted and weird. Strung Out powered through their standard set of new and old songs and I felt like I was in high school again. Then the stage spun around and Reel Big Fish were waiting on the other side like some kind of ska horror movie, horns blaring. Not wearing enough checkers, I ran away to go try to find some of my friends I knew where there. Unfortunately, the place was huge and cell phone service was garbage and I never was able to find Damon (Sorry dude!). I did find the Rockstar Energy™ tent though, where they were giving away free cans of disgusting flavored Rockstars™ like Orange Whip. I drank about 6 of them. Eventually I headed out to go watch The Briggs, but I ran into Kaylin who was headed for Anti-Flag, and followed her to avoid being that creepy dude watching a band all alone. I'm not a huge Anti-Flag fan, but they were shouting some awesome stuff at the crowd between songs, the kind of stuff that should be a no brainer and obvious, but since the human race is full of shit bag idiots we have to remind people to be fucking decent to each other. Anyway, they are actually really good live and I, again, was impressed. We dipped to go see The Interrupters, a thing I wasn't exactly super stoked on, until I saw Tim Armstrong literally scuttle across the side stage. A few songs went by before Kaylin wanted to go check out Less Then Jake, but I was convinced Tim would play that stupid fucking "Family" song with them, so I stayed. Eventually, they covered Operation Ivy's "Sound System" and lo and behold Tim Timebomb came on out to mumble along and spin his guitar, which immediately led into "Family."
Dis Es Mah Fahly
I left after that and headed back to the main stage to see The Bouncing Souls. I have only seen them once, and for them to even be on the west coast is a treat, so I refused to miss them. Unfortunately there was sound problems for the first few songs, and people past like the 3rd row couldn't hear anything. And I missed "Manthem." Dicks. Eventually they got it all worked out The Souls cranked out a decent set including "Sing Along Forever" and "True Believers." I B-lined back to one of the smaller stages to catch Devils Brigade and my second Tim Armstrong sighting, as he and Matt Freeman sang, I think "Radio" together. Tim's slurs and Matt's cookie monster yell were a match made in heaven.
Rahdeo Rahdeo Rahdeo
I knew I'd be seeing Swingin' Utters soon at The Hideout in San Diego, so I opted to go watch Lagwagon, since I owe this entire thing to them. I was a little dissapointed in their standard set they played, seemed to not vary much from the last few times I've seen them. This is the point I noticed how much dirt I had been breathing in this entire time. The mosh pits were kicking up a ton of dirt, and I was actually struggling to breathe, to the point where I asked Kaylin if she wanted to move back like 20 or 30 feet. Also, we were both just covered in dirt, my former white Bad Cop/Bad Cop shirt was now a nice beige color. This is also where things got a little fucked up. They decided it was a good idea to spin a wheel for the last 4 bands that played (NoFX, Pennywise, Descendents, and Bad Religion) to see who played next. But they started spinning it 2 bands before Lagwagon. So when Lagwagon spun it, Bad Religion came up, and they thought they played next then. So we jammed over to catch some of The Adolescents. Well, they kept asking why everyone was there when The Descendents were a few stages over playing. After they said that about 3 times, I was decided to make sure it was in fact Bad Religion playing. Whelp, it wasn't. The Descendents were about halfway through their set. Lucky me, I made it in time for "All-O-Gistics." Yay. NoFX played next and spent half their set talking shit about the whole fest and Kevin Lyman. Fat Mike was mad the dude from TSOL wore a night gown, forcing Mike to wear a "leather mini skirt" or a "gay mans kilt." When Bad Religion played, I had to go sit down and eat some over priced disgusting pizza so I didn't die. It was getting pretty late at this point and like most of the people there, I'm old. Pennywise played last and delayed the end by like 20 minutes because they broke the stage with the mass amount of people they had standing behind them. We watched about 5 or 6 songs before we bailed to go the fuck home. Long day over. (Thanks again Cherisse for getting us all home safe!)
I will say the one thing I was disappointed in was the bands didn't take this opportunity to maybe play some of their older songs they don't play anymore. Every band seemed to kind of just play a standard boring set, which I get, but come on. This was like, the 90's show to end all 90's shows.
Off With Their Heads - Spraynard - Lee Corey Oswald - Bainbridge (10/11/15 @ Soda Bar, San Diego CA)
I'll keep this section short since we are already in TL;DR territory. We showed up late and missed Bainbridge, but they are from here so I guarantee I'll see them again.
Lee Corey Oswald
"Watch them on the TV. Doesn't the bass player look like the girl from The Ring all grown up?"
"They are good. They're SUPER good."
"Wait... that's how they ended?"
I was super tired and honestly over it and wanted to just see OWTH and go home. So, on this night, not into it.
Off With Their Heads
OWTH rules. They are one of my favorite bands. The sad, depressing lyrics of Ryan Young strike a chord with me, I get it. I really do. So they get on stage and power through their hour long set. That's another thing I like, besides the "Let's fucking do this" at the beginning, they barely stopped playing. A good amount of their set were coming off Home and Hospitals, which I am more then alright with (Hospitals might be my favorite album of theirs). There were a strange amount of bro's there, and one of them kept jumping on the stage and knocking the mic into Ryan's face. About the 3rd time it happened, you could see he was pissed and the 4th time, straight up kicked the dude in the stomach. Good for him, because fuck that guy. The bro's also kept up a healthy mosh pit for the entire set, something I think is a dumb idea in a little crowded bar, especially one with a pole right in the middle. Anyway, during the last song, "Clear the Air," Ryan put down his guitar and jumps into the crowd and sings the whole song from out there. It was cool to see, and a great way to end the set. Another fantastic job, well done OWTH.
This next songs about wanting to die
And that ends another great weekend. Normally, I'd state what I'm doing next here, but I noticed I rarely stick to my plans so fuck it. All this shit is coming up though, so I might be at any one of these:
10/14 - Joey Cape, Walt Hamburger, Brian Whalstrom @ Brick by Brick
10/16 - Timeshares - Signals Midwest - Western Settings @ Tower Bar
10/23 - Sic Waiting - Caskitt - Bainbridge (Told You) @ Til-Two Club
10/23 - Frank Turner - Skinny Lister - Beans on Toast @ House of Blues
Get out there and support your local scene you fucking jerk:)