GV30 – Bad Religion – T.S.O.L – Youth Brigade – Sin 34 – The Grim – A Pretty Mess – 30 Years of Goldenvoice at The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium – Santa Monica, CA
December 17, 2011
The 3 day long GV30 festival got underway Saturday night with a ferocious lineup slated to bring out the gnarliest of punks in LA. Opening the show was A Pretty Mess, The Grim, and Sin 34. While The Grim and Sin34 may not have shared the mainstream success of their headlining counterparts, however, it was a natural selection to have these bands involved for the 30th anniversary being that they were key figures in the Punk scene during the first decade of Goldenvoice's existence.
The short but powerful sets played by the these bands was a great way to put some energy into the venue that was starting to fill up.
A Pretty Mess, took the stage first as the crowd trickled in. By the end of their set, the crowd had grown enormously as they sang along to a cover of X's "We're Desperate, Get Used To It". Next up was the The Grim who's most memorable moment on stage came when they played their most popular song “Saipan Death March”.
Local legends Sin 34 reformed a few years ago after a long hiatus. Judging from their performance, you would never know that there was time lost. Julie belted her lyrics with a raw intensity that she has been know for since she was still an adolescent.
Up next were the boys responsible for BYO Records and Punk Rock Bowling, fixtures that have and continue to play a huge role in modern day punk rock. Youth Brigade took the stage and got the Santa Monica crowd pumped with their melodic hardcore approach. Despite an early door time, the venue was filled to the brim at a much earlier time than the previous night, it was Saturday night and the punk crowd was ready to party!
Lead vocalist Shawn Stern belted out classic Youth Brigade cuts to a slam friendly crowd looking to do the H.B. strut all night. He mentioned venturing out to the Santa Monica civic in the 1970’s to watch Surf movies and that one time were he saw The Clash in 1979! Tracks from “To Sell the Truth” and “Out of Print” albums kept the bouncy crowd moving all throughout the bands set and never let up despite security being heavy handed. A few of the songs played were written during the Cold War, in which Shawn explained still had the same meaning today, crazy to think how times really haven’t changed all that much in 25 years. Countless fans crowd surfed and attempted to make it onstage, but luck was not on their side. Shawn Stern voiced his distaste of the barricade setup in front of the stage as it prevented any fans from getting up and singing “Sink with California” with the band. However Gary Tovar, Mark Stern and Adam Stern helped out on mic duties and made it a more celebratory version of the song.
Up next were the ever ferocious True Sounds of Liberty! In true Goth spirit Jack Grisham was dressed in a black suit with his face painted in the whitest of makeup. While Mike Roche and Ron Emory filled out the sides of the stage to keep things in balance Jack swarmed every inch of space allowed to him and sang his black heart out. Many of their early tracks kept the slam dancing at a constant rate as “World War III“, “Abolish Government” and “Superficial Love” remain timeless classics with that edge that make you want to destroy everything in sight. The hits kept on coming as more tracks from the “Dance With Me” record were played. Never one to just sing, Jack went on a few rants and even made a crowd of 3,000 punks chuckle as he made fun of a dumb fan for throwing a half drank beer onstage. (DON’T WASTE BEER!) The highlight of their set came when the haunting chords of “Code Blue” rang out through out the auditorium. The circle pit opened up bigger than ever before and expanded until the songs end. TSOL had came and they had conquered!
Closing out night 2 of GV30 was Epitaph records flagship band Bad Religion. As the bands backdrop adorned the stage boasting a huge cross buster fans knew it was time to get down and get wild and that’s exactly what they did! The set opener “Fuck Armageddon this is Hell” sent the large crowd into a frenzy that lead to a giant circle pit opening up in the middle of the dance floor. Mr. Greg Graffin sounded spot on as his vocals were as clear as they’ve been in years against the 3 guitar attack of Brett, Brian and Greg Hetson. Classic track after track found their way into the set as new songs fit comfortably in between. The various tracks from the 80’s seemed to get the warmest welcome from the crowd, but that doesn’t take away anything from their new material.
Bad Religion was the only band who seemed to employ a lighting designer as their stage appeared to be the most professional looking and sounding of the night. Like every band who had taken the stage before them they too paid respect to Gary Tovar and his contributions to their early success as a band. Greg even shared a story where Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks requested to Gary Tovar that Bad Religion not be allowed on stage back in the day. Gary’s response; “Don’t underestimate Bad Religion!”
They even managed to play a few songs that hadn’t been played since the early days and joked that fans should record em’ straight to you tube, it was then that hundreds of cameras illuminated the venue. Within a few minutes the set was closed out with the Kroq friendly hit “Sorrow” off the “Process of Belief” album.
As night 2 ended, there were rumors of a secret guest to be added to Sunday nights bill that had concert-goers buzzing at the thought of what Day 3 would bring.
Big Wheel Staff Reporter
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