A Visit from the Vandals (20th Annual Christmas Formal Review)

The Vandals


House of Blues Anaheim

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the House (of Blues in Anaheim)

Not a lone punk was silent, in sweat they were doused.

The punks young and old, at the stage they did stare

In hopes that the Vandals soon would play there.

First came an opener to the stage instead

The crowd waited patiently, mohawks on their heads.

As the band concluded, all of the punks clapped

They’d just finished their beers, and began to talk crap.

“When are the Vandals? They’re all that really matters.”

Santa hats on some heads, their mouths full of chatter.

Tsunami Bomb came next, to continue the bash

A decade off-stage will make cameras flash.

Their reunion complete, new singer in tow

Gave a rousing performance of songs mainly old.

When “Lemonade” played, the crowd they did cheer

But the vocals were quiet and difficult to hear.

Kate Jacobi sang well, she’s learning so quick

The band sounded great, musically clean and slick.

The old punks grew tired while making their claim

For the Vandals to start soon, their bedtimes the same.

“These 10:30 set times, my schedule won’t fit them!”

They needed to get home to tuck all their kids in.

Shirts of punk bands and Christmas you can’t buy at the mall

No matter the clothing, tired grins worn by all.

As armpits got sweaty, salty tears they all cried

Those in jackets looked hot, as though they might die.

Beer bellies stained shirts, bodily fluids and brews

But the punks gave no fucks, as they always do.

And then just as the crowd, was headed for fisticuffs

Christmas music began playing, as a sign it was enough.

The waiting was over, the crowd all turned around
Onstage walked the Vandals, ready to share their own sound.

Dressed all in sweaters, wearing fez hats to boot

The singer waited offstage, but guitars ready to shoot

Dave Quackenbush came out, the sound his vocals can pack

And the crowd roared with delight, the Vandals were back.

The stage dressed for Christmas, the band no less merry,

The more years that go by, the louder the applause carries.

“My First Xmas (as a Woman)” started the show,

Everyone sang all the words, “Thanx for Nothing” then followed.

Witty banter between songs, their youthful message was preached

Tunes of guns and Santa played as their fans screamed and cheered for each

“Grandpa’s Last Xmas” is still so very silly

Even if it’s different when they’re old, some with bellies.

One more Christmas song followed, then Warren (Fitzgerald, guitarist) looked at himself

And the band then decided, to take more songs off the shelf.

“It’s a Fact” was first up, the rest of their songs, it led

“Live Fast, Diarrhea” then requests from fans’ heads.

The Vandals all listened, although with a smirk

As they joked about songs, and made the setlist work.

“The New You” was a highlight, all the fans know

Despite lateness and heat, to stay the crowd chose.

To “Pizza Tran (She Delivers)” the punks cheered and whistled

They moshed all night long, in sweat and grime, they wrestled.

An OC tradition, Christmas Formal shone bright,

It felt just like Christmas, and ‘twas punk as fuck that night.

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