Gnarmageddon Fest 2011
June 18, 2011
The Glass House
The American Hardcore scene has produced (and destroyed) lots of amazing punk-rock legends. Darby Crash of The Germs, Stevo of The Vandals, John Macias of Circle One will all be remembered forever through their fundamental vocal contributions, after all, legends never die right?
But amidst the fallen, there are still a few of those rebel constituents that have persevered and play just as 'gnarly' as they did thirty years ago. And this last Saturday night at The Glass House in Pomona, a handful of those punk-rock protagonists came out to play.
D.O.A, Agent Orange, Ill Repute, JFA and Circle One are just some of the bands the modern-day punk-rocker is still blessed to personally experience. All these bands were on the bill at the first annual Gnarmageddon Fest in Pomona! (*Wayne from Wayne World comes in saying...."I am not worthy, I am not worthy!")
You immediately know there is a punk show taking place in downtown Pomona as you drive by and look for parking. The Middle-East restaurant on the corner seats a bit of a more blatant crowd, no hummus in sight but instead several, several golden pitchers of frothy brew. Pristine mohawks are a dime a dozen and there are more tributaries of warm piss running through the sidewalk than than the Colorado River Delta.
Surprisingly enough, the show didn't sell out. But then again, the $22 price tag to get in to this punkorama is enough to repel several of us.
The grandfathers of skate-punk themselves, JFA, were the first epics to perform that night. Their signature, relentless, truly fast-as-hell sound have kept the heads of many swaying fast since the early eighties. And believe it or not, they sounded just as fast and an energetic singer Brian Brannon sang just as hard. Especially, when they played their classics. Jodie Fosters Army! Beach Blanket Bongout! They even did a decent cover of War's "Low Rider" out of nowhere?!
Ill Repute were the next heavy hardcore hitters. They fist made their playful-but-intense mark in Oxnard, CA . Spinning off their own signature "Nard-Core" genre of central California raw punk-rock. As always, they opened up with their cheerful "Laugh It Off", and kept going through the night, classic after classic. "Sleepwalking", "Clean Cut American Kid" and of course their masterful ode to their hometown, "Oxnard"!
But the most anticipated band of the night had to be D.O.A. Yes, the band credited for being the founders of the term "Hardcore" (for their first album "Hardcore 81") was up next. Hearing their songs from that album live was like candy for everyone, too bad they didn't play too many of them. The metal-ification (i.e playing their instruments behind their heads or with their tongue, face-to-face guitar-to-base-power-solos etc.) is imminent in any punk-rock band and although D.O.A definitely made this apparent, they still got down. It happens you know? Kids who started with power chords get better at their instruments, no biggie. I think some people weren't as satisfied though. Whatever, they played "The Prisoner" so I was happy.
The last band on the epic lineup was Agent Orange. I don't know why these guys didn't get as much love as the other bands (crowd was smallest for them) but oh well, it was everyone's loss! These guys have actually gotten better with age, Mike Palm (singer and guitarist) definitely upgraded his petal set up. Through out his set, he toyed around with more than five different effects on his minimalist teal-colored Fender. Despite the shrinkage in crowd, the pit was definitely the most fiercest of the night. I lost my right canvas shoe when they played their distorted version of the surf-anthem, "Miserlou".
All in all, I knew it was a hell of a goodnight when their performance of "The Last Goodbye" made my hair stand on end
Critics Bias: I collect 80's vinyl from all these guys so I'm basically a giddy little fan girl for them all.
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The Crowd: Kids! This years youth. So many, fresh, fresh faces!
Overheard in The Crowd: "Nard-Cooooore!"
Random Notebook Dump: What's up with the stage security letting us take photos during the first three songs only?!
Set List (D.O.A):
Waiting For You
World War 3
Woke Up Screaming
Fucked Up Ronnie