The Adolescents and the Dickies at Alex's Bar Friday Night

To those who didn't consider punk rock to be “just a phase” in high school, last Friday night at Alex's bar was somewhat of a
culmination. The Grim, the Dickies and the Adolescents–all local, monumental
'80s bands who started playing just a little bit faster than the
rest of the scene–under one liquor-lacquered roof? Oh, yes, the punk gods were generous that
Friday evening, indeed.

However, all this only if you completed
the quest of getting inside. A surrounding block bore a hand-scribbled
sign touting, “No bar parking anywhere on this street.” And once you
actually found a glorious spot and made the cross-block journey, there
was a snaking line of eager permanent punk rockers
to brave before you got in.

Javier Cabral
The Dickies getting ready for their zippy cover of Black Sabbath's “Paranoid”


course, it was way too crowded, but the Dickies were quick to diffuse the
stuffiness of it all once they started their set. They began with a mellow version of “Rosemary” and eventually graduated
into their signature jubilance. Front man Leonard might be old-school, but he still has more energy than any
teenager on meth (not to mention some pretty sweet-ass pipes).
The band was all over the stage in tights, using a different prop for each
song. My personal favorite was the scuba mask and blow-up doll custom-made
for “Waterslide.” All classics were covered, including
the talking-penis manifesto “If Stuart Could Talk,” a crowd favorite.

Adolescents were awesome as always, assuaging fans by basically playing
their whole blue album, which they probably made when they were actual adolescents.

Most of the
band members are still the original founders–and therefore legends. Original singer Tony
Cadena still managed to beautifully portray the
intensity of their songs and lyrics, while original bassist Steve Soto
backed him up with his usual powerful bass role and catchy chorus lines.
From the coming-of-aging proclamation of “Kids of the Black Hole” to
the girl-problem-affirming “L.A Girl,” the days of endless fun were
definitely not anywhere near through.

As if the show couldn't get any cooler, Stan Lee, Dickies original
guitarist, came onstage for the night's imminent feature presentation
of “Amoeba,” forming this epic punk-rock performance as the
night's clincher.

Critics Bias: I was “one of those fans” who listened to the Adolescents' blue album.

The Crowd: Midlifers, mostly couples who still keep it real–and (apparently) Shawn Stern of Youth Brigade!

Overheard In The Crowd: “Dude, there was a huge line for for the guy's restroom, so I just took a piss on the wall!”

Random Notebook Dump: Pogo with caution, please. You've got a camera now!

Setlist (The Adolescents):

No Way
Monsanto Hayride
Who Is Who
Self Destruct

Things Start Moving
Serf City

One Nation
Losing Battle

L.A. Girl
OC Confidential
Wrecking Crew

Word Attack
Rip It Up


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