December 7, 2012
It isn't common to find a solid lineup that features two of the greatest pioneering West Coast punk bands playing on the same stage in one night. The Observatory featured T.S.O.L. and OC legends The Adolescents Friday night, which probably would've resulted in a sold out show had it not been for the Social Distortion gig in Anaheim.
Generations of punks culminated at the Observatory to relive old memories or experience two leading punk bands for the first time. Although the Adolescents have played for over thirty years, there was an overload of young, scrappy punks present. A few parents where with their kids as well as longtime supporters who grew up alongside the band.
The Adolescents started off the night with "No Way," completely embodying a punk atmosphere with it's apathetic lyrics and screw-the-world attitude. From the get go, there was an endless stream of crowd surfers who refused to be pulled out by security and instead succeeded in surfing around in a circle above the pit. A few fans managed to sneak their way onstage and danced along vocalist, Tony Cadena, who seemed unconcerned at the chaos ensuing onstage and within the pit.
The energy was kept high with the band's back to back songs, allowing hardly any time for rest but despite their power, the lack of audience interaction caused fans fervor to dwindle. A few fans attempted to scream out requests but were hardly audible over the loud distortion of guitars. The brief break Cadena entertained was to commend a security guard's effort in catching a crowd surfer:
"We owe this guy right here a round of applause--that was a nice catch! Didja see that? That girl would've been hurt if she hit the ground. That was beautiful."
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There was a sense of unity among those in the venue as punks of all ages sang back song lyrics that are still prevalent today. Tracks like "Monanto," "Democracy" and "Amoeba" gained the most positive reactions with snappy guitar riffs and simplistic choruses that had everyone singing along.
Adolescents didn't bother walking offstage before their last few songs and instead lingered as fans screamed for an encore. Cadena looked out into the crowd, smiling approvingly as they continued to chant for more songs. Throughout the night a few had requested "Creatures" and luckily enough, the band obliged and closed off the night with just that.
Critical Bias: The Adolescents' lack of audience interaction easily made T.S.O.L. my favorite band of the night.
The Crowd: Punks of all ages
Overheard in the Crowd: "Dude, the whole world just turned into a giant vibrator!"
Random Notebook Dump: The vocalist of Hollywood Hate sported a "Justice 4 Kelly Thomas" shirt and gave a speech commemorating Thomas. He earned cheers from random people in the crowd who actually knew what he was talking about.
"Who Is Who"
"Hawks and Doves"
"Things Start Moving"
"Peace Don't Cost A Thing"
"Kids of the Black Hole"
"Rip It Up"