House of Blues Anaheim
If anyone ever wondered what it would feel like to be a worm in a can overflowing with other worms — all writhing and straining for breathing room — they could have gotten the experience by attending The Adicts’ latest performance at House of Blues Anaheim. While the music hall at the venue accommodates around a thousand people, it is clear that those thousand or so people can not be accommodated comfortably. Whether or not they can be accommodated happily is another story, as the colorfully dressed fans retained their enthusiasm throughout the band’s killer set despite their limited mobility.
David Bowie’s “Starman” preceded Wendy Carlos’s “Title Music from A Clockwork Orange,” which, of course, heralded the beginning of the show. As the quilted patchwork of curtain parted, the veteran punk band took the hall by the balls and didn’t let go for about an hour and a half. While singer Keith “Monkey” Warren’s wardrobe didn’t feature glowing lights, as it had during a previous stop at the local HOB, his attire and makeup still showcased his penchant for theatricality. The rest of the gang sported their Clockwork Orange-inspired duds as they demonstrated that a punk band that has been active for 40 years can still rock with the best of ‘em.
The Adicts tore through a great set of rocking tunes, including perennial faves like “Viva la Revolution,” “Chinese Takeaway,” “Bad Boy,” and “Who Spilt My Beer?” as well as a few newer tunes. After the performance of a brand new song, Monkey mused, “Look at these people: trying to sing along when we haven’t even written the fucking words to the song yet.” Throughout the show, lead guitarist Pete “Pete Dee” Davison ripped each of his songs a new asshole with his energized performance. Rhythm guitarist John “Scruff” Ellis and Bassist “Little” Dave Menza amply balanced out the powerhouse show as body surfing audience members washed up into the photography pit every three minutes or so.
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Fun was the bottom line as Monkey endlessly showered the audience with streamers, confetti, playing cards, beer, balloons, beanie babies, and articles of his clothing. When the band’s frenetic drummer, Michael “Kid Dee” Davison missed a beat during a jam, the rest of the band mates smiled, shrugged, and played on. Colorful highlights of the set included: Monkey eating confetti out of a Chinese take-out container and then tapping on Pete Dee’s guitar strings with his chopsticks, Monkey lobbing streamers into the rafters (which resulted in HOB looking like it had been toilet-papered), and the band’s performance of a friendly sing-along at the end of the show.
The fact that the group retains most of its original members proves their love for the game. The fact that most members of the audience probably hadn’t been born until The Adicts had been rocking hard for 20 years is testament to the band’s impact on the punk scene. And the fact that they can still raise sonic hell for an ecstatic house of tightly packed sardines means that punk is definitely not dead. Hallelujah!