House of Blues Anaheim
The Adicts are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary much in the same way that they celebrated their 39th anniversary, their 38th anniversary, their 37th anniversary, and others...by touring! On the eve of Memorial Day, the Adicts drew their routine full house of rockers for another colorful evening of their many ageless punk rock anthems at House of Blues Anaheim.
Before The Adicts made their inaugural appearance at the new House of Blues, their manically uplifting vibe was felt through the opening act, Downtown Brown. Though not too many Adicts fans were familiar with this hybrid rock trio from Detroit, the band has been around since 2001, and they were quick to ingratiate themselves with the house. Starting off with a solid, solo, acapella performance of the Titanic theme, “My Heart Will Go On,” vocalist / guitarist Neil Patterson grabbed the audience’s attention and continued to hold it fast with his zany humor, great guitar chops, and an intensely eclectic set of tunes, which ranged as much in theme as they did in musical genre.
Highlights of their set included a Trump-bashing number called “Orange Bitch,” an impressive cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and an anti-technology song called “T2 [Terminator 2] Was Right.” While the band’s exotic stylistic variety isolated some of the punk classicists in the house, Downtown Brown’s act clearly resonated with the quintessential punk ethos of “Fuck you, we’re going to do what we want.” Despite that, Patterson made sure to point out that The Adicts had invited them to open, so he encouraged anyone who disapproved of his act to write a letter to The Adicts’ frontman, Keith “Monkey” Warren, to tell him “These guys suck.”
After Downtown Brown finished their set, the crowd gradually became more riotous in anticipation of The Adicts. Ice cubes flew into the air, empty cups were lobbed at the curtain, and the hardcore thrashers began to get legless on beer. By the time the curtain was raised and Monkey came out to show off his brand new cape, the house militia was already positioned throughout the photo pit, in front of the stage, in anticipation of airborne bodies. As the band tore into “Let’s Go,” the ice, the cups, and the inebriates alternately flew into the air and towards the band. Monkey and lead guitarist Pete “Pete Dee” Davison kicked a few cups off to the side as they encouraged the audience to sing-along with their irrefutably catchy classics.
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Throughout the show, the band beguiled newbies and satisfied seasoned fans with all of the streamers, playing cards, confetti, and plush toys that they routinely distribute at their concerts. They had been dealing out a solid set including “Joker In The Pack,” “Tango,” “Numbers,” “Troubadour,” and “I Am Yours,” when Monkey paused to greet the audience. He looked around at House of Blues Anaheim’s new digs and said, “Nice place you got here. It’s a shame we had to fuck it up!” As the band played on, one particularly revved up fan broke through to the corner of the stage and launched himself into the crowd while issuing a mighty battle roar. Monkey smiled and gave the kid a thumbs up as the band continued on with “Gimme Something To Do” and “Life Goes On,” the former of which features a chorus of “Ooh, ooh, ohh”s, which Monkey pointed out is a chorus that works well in any language.
The rhythm section provided a powerhouse foundation with Michael “Kid Dee” Davison on drums, Davey “Bastard” Menza on bass, and a fellow introduced as Mike taking up the mantle of rhythm guitar. Attitude and solid performances, led by Pete Dee’s merciless riffs, fed the audience what they’d come for: loud, old school, feelgood mayhem, served with the mischievous smile of everybody’s favorite punk rock clown.
The set concluded with “Viva La Revolution” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” In addition to playing another classic setlist, the accompanying confetti and streamers of their stage show help maintain The Adicts' status as everyone's favorite punk rock, New Year’s Eve-style celebration band. Furthermore, the complete span of age ranges in the audience, from infants to geriatrics, with a predominance of people in their 20’s and 30’s show that Adicts concerts continue to be a punk rock tradition for generations new and old. Hopefully, they will continue to ring in their new years for generations to come; after all, the band is only 40.