The Dickies and D.O.A. Prove That Punk Rock Only Ripens With Age

The Dickies
The Dickies
John Gilhooley

The Dickies and D.O.A.
The Underground DTSA
5/26/2016

Many familiar faces made their way out to Santa Ana for last Thursday’s all-star assortment of classic punk bands. Monkey, lead singer of The Adicts approached the entrance and upon seeing a table full of flyers for an upcoming Adicts show, put one next to his trademark grinning face and jokingly asked the door girl, “Does this get me in for free?”

The downstairs space at The Underground DTSA with its concrete floor and a makeshift seating area adjacent to the stage was the perfect setting to authenticate the throwback to the gritty shows of yesteryear that garnered these bands their notoriety.

The evening’s silence was broken by The Sanitys, a group of fresh-faced teens, who were a few decades younger than the seasoned headliners.

The next band up was one of the most exciting,; The Skulls. One of the original bands to come out of the Los Angeles ‘77 punk movement, these guys are definitely starting to show their age in physical appearance, but no semblance of their many revolutions around the sun manifest in their performance. Lead vocalist Billy Bones paces aggressively back and forth on stage and appeals the crowds undivided attention with the same ardor and intensity as in his early 20’s.

Joey Shithead of D.O.A.
Joey Shithead of D.O.A.
John Gilhooley

Damnation kept the crowd warm for the headliners with their darker brand of fast paced heavy hitting rock, fronted by a tall, raven haired jack sparrow looking character.

Then our neighbors to the north and co-main event of the evening, D.O.A took over the stage. It’s no secret D.O.A were one of the originators of hardcore punk and are still a cult favorite among the scene today, but catching up with Joe Shithead right before they tore through their set, he chatted with us of his most recent exploits running for political office in his home province of British Columbia. Pretty impressive for a guy who runs his own label and still tours cross country with his band of nearly 40 years. He’s also been named one of British Columbia’s most influential people of all time in The Vancouver Sun. I guess Joe Shithead just can’t live up to his name.

The Dickies closed out the night with a full set of their anthemic hooks at break neck pace including all of their endearingly quirky covers, “Gigantor”, “Banana Splits”, and “Nights in White Satin”. Like their contemporaries, The Dickies proved that aging isn’t going to be slowing them down any time soon, showcasing the same snotty attitude that made them popular at the end of the ‘70s.

So if you were worried that punk rock was slowing down, it might be time to break out the anti-wrinkle cream and get your ass back in the pit.

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