Last night was the final night of GV30, concert promoter Goldenvoice's 30th anniversary punk rock show. It was legendary. The sheer energy of the sold out show proved that punk is still alive and kicking in 2011. The most exciting part? Keith Morris and Chuck Dukowski were on the same stage again. The rumors were true and Black Flag were indeed the night's special guests.
Ill Repute were the night's first fan favorites. They got the ball rolling fast with their explosive signature "Nard-core" sound, the term coined for the punk rock scene out of Oxnard, California. "Goldenvoice played a big role in getting the Oxnard scene big in L.A." said John Phaneuf, Ill Repute's singer. They started their set with "Sleepwalking," and went on to play everything their fans wanted to hear, including "Clean Cut American Kid" and "Cherokee Nation."
The Dickies were up next, and they had the Christmas spirit, kicking things off with their whimsical, guitar-inflected version of "Silent Night."
Leonard Graves Phillips wore black leggings, pink low-top Converse Chucks, and thanked his fans. "You guys are all good kids, we would personally like to go down on each and every one of you, but...we just don't have the time." For their zippy cover performance of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," Dead Kennedy's original guitarist East Bay Ray came out to play guitar out of nowhere, which was cool. Ohh, and if you were wondering what song they mocked while playing their penis personification song "If Stuart Could Talk," it was Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." Haha.
The Vandals wasted no time and jumped right into their punk rock Western ode, "I Want to Be a Cowboy." The air was electric, as they transitioned into the strident, fast-as-hell chorus. Their comical set included a nice blend of hits from their older hardcore style and their newer pop punk stuff -- from "Pat Brown" to "Ape Drape." The best part of their set was the last song, their cover of The Simple Tones' "I Got a Date."
And then it was finally time for Black Flag. Earlier, it was clear that the bands were giddy with the news; they could barely contain themselves from spilling the beans during their sets. (They dropped all kinds of hints.) In any case, Keith Morris walked out, looking intense. On drums was Bill Stevenson and on guitar was Stephen Egerton from the Descendents. Morris' dreads started to fly as they performed their "Nervous Breakdown" single, the whole 7" EP released under SST that also included "Fix Me" on side A and "I've Had It" and "Wasted" on Side B. Their sound? Just as fucken bad ass as you'd imagine.
Unfortunately, that was it. The crowd started to boo after they left; they wanted more than just those four songs, of course. Keith Morris came back onstage to diffuse the situation, explaining that they only had time rehearse those songs. What a nice guy!
Descendents review below.
Black Flag is not easy to follow, but The Descendents did so gracefully. They kept the old school train going, opening with their self-titled "Descendents" song.
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Then immediately dove into "Hope." Singer Milo Aukerman shouted out the name of each song before playing it: "I Wanna Be a Bear," etc. For their epic Catholic satire "All-O-Gistics" they enlisted a bunch of little kids to read off Milo's pretend commandment tablets. "Thou shalt not commit adulthood" squeaked a blond little kid. "Thou shalt not suppress flatulence" shouted another. The closed their set with their empowering favorite, "I'm Not A Loser."
To another 30 years!
Overheard in the crowd: "Dammit, I should have brought my Chucks. I'm gonna lose these in the pit!"